Brian Eastick's World Cup preparations begin with game at Shrewsbury Town.
England v France
7.30pm, Wednesday 9 February 2011
Greenhous Meadow Stadium, Shrewsbury Town FC
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England will warm up for the U20 FIFA World Cup in Colombia this summer with a game against France at Shrewsbury Town’s Greenhous Meadow Stadium on Wednesday 9 February.
The match will give U20 Head Coach Brian Eastick a chance to piece together his plans for Colombia 2011, as England begin their countdown to the FIFA tournament, which kicks off in Barranquilla, Cartagena and Medellin on 29 July.
France will arrive in Shrewsbury with a reputation for playing attractive football, having won the UEFA European U19 Championship title with a 2-1 win over Spain last July.
But Les Bleus couldn’t beat England in the group stages of the tournament with Blackpool’s Matt Phillips coming off the bench to nod home a last gasp equaliser for the Young Lions. The Young Lions secured their qualification for the World Cup at that competition after reaching the semi-finals.
England teams have a decent record at Greenhous Meadow too, with the U19s beating the Netherlands in 2008 and Russia in 2009, while the senior Women’s side dispatched Switzerland 2-0 in the first leg of their World Cup play-off last September.
Eastick commented: “France have qualified for the World Cup as European champions, so we’re delighted to secure this friendly on home soil.
“We know that France will be technically excellent and will play possession football so it will be a decent test for our youngsters and one we’re all looking forward to.”
Joining England and France as European qualifiers for Colombia 2011 are Austria, Portugal, Croatia and Spain.
Australia, South Korea, North Korea and Saudi Arabia have qualified for the World Cup from Asia while the South American, Central American, African and Oceania confederations will determine their qualifiers for the tournament in early 2011.