John Stones predicts successful future for England U21's

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Everton's John Stones is full of confidence ahead of this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship in the Czech Republic, claiming that "with the players we have it is going to be an exciting tournament and we will go into it looking to win it."

The U21's best showing in the competition in recent years was their final defeat at the hands of Germany in 2009, but Stones is not letting such negativity affect him. "There has been a lot of disappointment in recent years of this competition and hopefully we can rectify it this year." 

Gareth Southgate's youngsters are indeed in fine form, losing just once in their last eight games in all competitions, including an impressive 3-2 victory over Germany last month. So it is easy to see why confidence is high going into the Euros. 

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Southgate announced his preliminary squad for the finals yesterday, with plenty of talking points regarding inclusions and exclusions.

Tottenham's Harry Kane, West Brom's Sadio Berahino and Burnley's Danny Ings were all rewarded for fine seasons with call ups. However there was no place for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Liverpool contract rebel Raheem Sterling in the squad. 

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The confirmed tournament squad will be submitted to UEFA on June 2, ahead of England's first tournament fixture against Portugal on June 18. 

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Gareth Southgate
England Football

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