Kaunas calling for U21s

England Under-21s put in their final preparations for Friday’s Euro clash with Lithuania by training at the Dauriaus ir Gireno Stadium in Kaunas on Thursday evening.

Gareth Southgate’s squad arrived in the Baltic nation earlier that day and quickly got used to their new surroundings, with a scheduled session at the stadium where Friday’s game will take place.

Lithuania U21s v England U21s

UEFA European U21 Championship
Qualifying Group One

5pm (BST), Friday 5 September 2014
Dariaus ir Gireno Stadium, Kaunas

Usually the home of FBK Kaunas, as well as the Lithuania national team, the 8200 capacity venue is expected to attract a sizeable attendance on Friday for what is the first of a home double-header for Lithuania with Wales due for a game next week. 

Speaking about Friday’s match, Southgate said: “For us, it’s a difficult test. We played very well in the game in England [a 5-0 win at Ipswich] but we know that coming here is a harder game for us.

“It’s a really nice pitch, which is in a good condition and for us, the level of performance is really important.

“Of course, we’ve won the group, but we have important matches next month and this game is really important preparation for us.

“We have set a standard of performing and we want to keep that standard. There’s competition for places in our team and every player knows they need to play well to stay in the side.

A video of England’s training session in Kaunas, courtesy of the Lithuanian FA.

“I’ve been here once before with our U19s for an Elite Round, they are very warm people and the climate at this time of year is very nice and perfect for football.

“We’re looking forward to the game and we’re here for two or three days afterwards to prepare for our next game so we hope to enjoy ourselves.”

The Three Lions arrived in Lithuania with a squad of 21 players, following the withdrawal of defender Jack Robinson on Thursday after a bout of illness meant he was unable to travel.

Aside from that, only striker Danny Ings remains a doubt for the Lithuania game after missing Thursday’s training session through slight illness although he hopes to be fit enough to take part in Friday’s warm-up session.