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England under-21s to face Germany, Spain get Italy in Euro 2017 semis

Germany and Italy both advanced to the semifinals at Euro 2017 after their game on Saturday.

England will face Germany in the semifinals of the European Under-21 Championship, while Italy take on Spain.

The matchups were confirmed on Saturday after Italy beat Germany 1-0 to win Group C, with Fiorentina's Federico Bernardeschi scoring in the first half.

Germany advanced as the best second-placed team at the expense of Slovakia, playing conservatively against Italy to ensure their goal difference was one better.

Both semifinals are set for Tuesday, with England facing Germany in Tychy, before Spain play Italy in Krakow.

With England in the semis for the first time since 2009, midfielder Lewis Baker vowed they have no fear as they plot Euro 2017 glory amid the giants of Europe.

"I think the pressure has come off us a little bit now because we got through the group stages and into the semifinals but I know the boys want to go as far as we can and we're all looking to achieve something big," the Chelsea man said. 

"We've been in big games before like at the Toulon tournament last year when we won that. As a team and a squad we're used to playing together in important matches so we'll just take it in our stride.

"As you start playing more and more games the momentum starts building and the confidence builds and we've started playing like we know we can."

Baker started the tournament playing further forward but has dropped deeper after John Swift was introduced in the second game -- a 2-1 win over Slovakia.

The 22-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Vitesse Arnhem, still scored a penalty in Thursday's 3-0 win over Poland which booked a semi-final spot and is happy with whatever role boss Aidy Boothroyd gives him.

Lewis Baker and England are into the semifinals of the European Under-21 Championship.
Lewis Baker and England will meet Germany in the Euro 2017 semifinals.

He added: "Whatever the manager thinks is the best formation that is what we will go with.

"I like to do a bit of both defending and attacking, trying to get from box to box, is what my game is all about. Whatever the manager thinks is best we have to go with that."

England captain James Ward-Prowse and several members of the squad and coaching staff visited the former concentration and extermination camp in Auschwitz, where around 1.1 million people were killed during World War Two.

Coach Aidy Boothroyd said: "It was something that we wanted to do, it's a poignant and quite an upsetting place but it's somewhere that everybody should visit to see what happened there.

"It is a place that I'm glad I've gone to, it just puts things into perspective and in a strange way, I'm pleased that a lot of the lads wanted to go and visit and show their respect.

"We've done what I think is the right thing. Everybody wanted to go, staff and players, so I'm glad we've done it."

Ward-Prowse proposed the idea that the squad join the staff on the trip ahead of their game in the last four on Tuesday.

The Southampton midfielder said: "It was moving and a very humbling experience for all of us. It's obviously a tragic thing that happened and it's been an experience for us to come and see what went on and where it happened. It's good to be able to use some of our time in Poland to come and see it.

"It's something that I've wanted to do for a long while and I think a few of the other lads felt the same as well.

"So it was something that we raised when we knew that we had some free time between games that we'd like to do, come and visit Auschwitz to pay our respects to those who sadly lost their life."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.


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