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England vs. Scotland: 2018 Toulon Tournament Live Stream, Schedule, Prediction

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJune 5, 2018

Qatar's goalkeeper Shehab Ellethy (L) lies past England's forward Tammy Abraham during the Maurice Revello tournament Under 20 football match England vs Qatar at the Parsemain stadium in Fos-sur-Mer, southern France, on June 1, 2018. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/Getty Images

Only one home nation will advance to the final of the 2018 Toulon Tournament on Wednesday, when England and Scotland under-21s will meet in the penultimate phase of the French competition.

The two rivals are set for a semi-final showdown for the second year in succession in Toulon, with Scotland chasing redemption after they succumbed 3-0 to their border rivals at this stage in 2017.

Aidy Boothroyd's England side advanced to the semi-finals after finishing as the best-placed runners-up in Group A, while Scotland won Group B with an identical record of two wins and one draw.

Scot Gemmill's Scotland squad has five players based at Premier League clubs but is largely made up of talent from the Scottish Premiership, who are hoping to prove there's no gulf in class between the two.

Read on for a preview of Wednesday's match for a place in the 2018 Toulon Tournament final as England continue their quest for a third consecutive youth title in France.

          

Date: Wednesday, June 6

Time: 6:30 p.m. BST/1:30 p.m. ET

Live Stream: FreeSports (UK)

         

Preview

As winners of the last two Toulon Tournaments, England will be considered favourites to win on Wednesday, although their record and approach has been similar to the Scots at times.

A 4-0 drubbing of Qatar in their last pool outing was just about enough to see the Young Lions past the group stage, and that was only after top scorer Tammy Abraham came up with a game-saving 80th-minute strike against China in their opener:

England @England

Big goal from @tammyabraham to get our @TournoiToulon title defence off to a winning start! https://t.co/e6d8s88x29

Each team scored six times in the group stage—England conceded just one goal while Scotland leaked two—and this is the second time in as many years that both have made it to the last four of the Toulon Tournament.

However, the English do have a significant edge in that they've finished among the top four at the last four editions of the competition, to go along with their back-to-back title triumphs in 2016 and 2017.

Scotland aren't without their weapons, though, one of whom is captain Oliver Burke, the West Bromwich Albion winger who has more senior experience than most in his squad and is performing well in France.

Burke, 21, struggled to feature prominently for the Baggies after moving to the Hawthorns from RB Leipzig, but football writer Stefan Bienkowski illustrated how he's tended to shine at the under-21 level:

Stefan Bienkowski @SBienkowski

Oliver Burke now has four goals in seven games for Scotland U21s. Across all age ranges (including senior team) he has seven goals in 21 games.

The Baggies trickster has scored winning strikes against hosts France and South Korea, meaning he'll need to be handled if Scotland are to be effectively restrained.

But just as England have a Chelsea-based scoring force in Abraham, Scotland coach Gemmill has one of his own in Billy Gilmour, who is already making waves despite being among the younger players in the tournament:

Toulon Tournament @TournoiToulon

He is only 16... 🤤🤤🤤 @billygilmourrr cc @ScottishFA @ChelseaFC @CarefreeYouth ➡️💻Full highlights on our website https://t.co/MOi7kdZesY

Boothroyd's England may have encountered their scares in France already, but they've conceded only four goals in their last nine games, and a steadfast defence is so often the key to winning tournaments such as this.

Prediction: England 2-0 Scotland

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