Matt Grimes: Toulon Final pressure is on France

Saturday 28 May 2016
England Under-21s midfielder Matt Grimes
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England Under-21s midfielder Matt Grimes believes the pressure will be on host nation France for Sunday’s Toulon Tournament final.

The Three Lions beat Japan on Friday to make it four wins from four games and finish top of Group B, setting up Sunday’s match with Les Bleus after they matched England’s record in Group A.

But the Swansea City man says Gareth Southgate's side will go into the game with confidence after cruising through their four games at the competition so far.

France v England

Toulon Tournament
The Final
5.45pm, Sunday 29 May 2016
Parc des Sports, Avignon
Live on BT Sport

"Pressure on us? No, France are the host nation, they won the title last year so I think the pressure will be on them," revealed Grimes, who played in Toulon last year and has also scored against France this season in a 4-3 defeat for the U20s last November.

"I’ve already played against them this season so I’m aware of what they are like to a certain degree. 

"We’ve won four games until now and there is no reason we can’t make it five."

A relative newcomer to Gareth Southgate’s squad, Grimes has impressed in the group games with Guinea and Japan as England finished top of the pile.

It comes on the back of a season which saw him start with Keith Downing’s U20s before earning his first call into Southgate’s squad for the Euro Qualifier with Switzerland in March, after impressing during a loan spell with Blackburn Rovers.

And the former Exeter City player admits he’s happy to have been involved in the Toulon campaign so far after previously featuring last year for Aidy Boothroyd's U20s who finished in fourth spot.

"We are very pleased to clinch a fourth straight win,” he added.

"Winning the first three games was vital, but we’ve showed good character and we performed well today [against Japan]."

Sunday’s final against France will kick-off at 5.45pm BST and will be screened live on BT Sport.

By Nicholas Veevers in Toulon, France