Luka Jovic was officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Wednesday, and Los Blancos' new striker is one of the headline names taking part in the Under-21 European Championship.

The tournament starts on Sunday, with Poland taking on Belgium before hosts Italy face Spain; Jovic's first taste of the competition will come when Serbia play against Austria in Group B on Monday.

But Jovic is not the only young star who is looking to shine at this event, with Manchester City's Phil Foden likely to be a key cog in England's midfield, while Sandro Tonali is one of Italy's brightest prospects.

And, ahead of the tournament, we have taken a look at the main players who will be looking to make an impact for each side.


Belgium – Yari Verschaeren (Anderlecht)

Anderlecht are no strangers to a teenage star becoming a key man; think Romelu Lukaku, Aleksandar Mitrovic or Youri Tielemans. Verschaeren is the next such prospect and his form has been so impressive that he could feature for Belgium at this tournament, despite being just 17. He is not yet capped at under-21 level, but that will soon change in the coming weeks for the silky attacking midfielder.

Italy – Sandro Tonali (Brescia)

Despite only turning 19 last month, Tonali has already established himself in Brescia's first team. He was a revelation in Serie B in 2018-19, helping his side to the title and subsequent promotion. A technically gifted midfielder who has been likened to Azzurri great Andrea Pirlo, Tonali is sure to be central to most of the host nation's play throughout the competition.

Poland – Sebastian Szymanski (Dinamo Moscow)

While many players at this tournament might hope to earn a move with their performances, Szymanski has already done that. Dinamo Moscow paid a reported €5.5million to Legia Warsaw for the talented playmaker just a few weeks ago, having emerged as one of the primary talents in the Ekstraklasa. A fine dribbler, agile and possessor of great vision, the 20-year-old – who was in Poland's preliminary squad for last year's World Cup – will be key for his side.

Spain – Dani Olmo (Dinamo Zagreb)

Dinamo Zagreb have a fine reputation for developing young players and Olmo is the latest. The winger left Barcelona at 16 to move to Croatia and it appears to be working out, having established himself as a key player. Good on the ball and an able goalscorer, Olmo might not be one of the household names in Spain's squad, but that could be about to change.


Austria – Dario Maresic (Sturm Graz)

Although critics say Maresic did not enjoy the best of seasons at Sturm Graz, the centre-back is impressively experienced for a 19-year-old, having been around the first-team since he was 16. A fine ball-playing defender, Maresic has often been linked with German and English clubs – this might be his best chance to impress yet.

Denmark – Joachim Andersen (Sampdoria)

Robert Skov's goals will be vital if Denmark are to make a splash in Italy, but they will also need to be solid at the back – that's where Andersen comes in. Signed from Twente in 2017, the Sampdoria centre-back enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19, catching the eye with his ability to play out from the back. Arsenal are reportedly interested, but an impressive tournament could see his price tag continue to rise.

Germany – Alexander Nubel (Schalke)

Among the players going head-to-head with Jovic in the group stage will be Nubel, who enjoyed a breakthrough season with Schalke in the Bundesliga, unseating Ralf Fahrmann. Nubel made nine appearances in qualifying, conceding just seven goals and keeping five clean sheets, and could well be on course to prove himself as Manuel Neuer's heir apparent.

Serbia – Luka Jovic (Real Madrid)

Jovic's sensational form for Eintracht Frankfurt has earned the 21-year-old a mega-money move to Madrid. The former Benfica youngster scored 27 goals in all competitions for Frankfurt last term, and has also netted twice for the senior international team. With seven goals in qualifying, and riding the crest of a wave, Jovic will be aiming to drag Serbia deep into the competition, and he certainly has the talent to do so.


Croatia – Lovro Majer (Dinamo Zagreb)

The second Zagreb player to feature on this list, Majer's style of play has drawn comparisons to that of Luka Modric, who of course led Croatia to the World Cup final at Russia 2018. But Zlatko Dalic's team is an ageing one, and midfielder Majer, who made his international debut in 2017, could well be in line to play a key part in the senior squad in years to come.

England – Phil Foden (Manchester City)

There has been plenty of clamour for Foden to get more first-team opportunities at Manchester City in recent seasons, but Pep Guardiola has understandably taken his time in introducing the 19-year-old into a side that swept up four domestic trophies last term. Foden was a huge part in England winning the Under-17 World Cup in 2017, and Aidy Boothroyd is almost certain to turn to the playmaker to be England's creative fulcrum in their bid to win silverware.

France – Houssem Aouar (Lyon)

From one current City player, to a youngster that has been linked with a move to the Premier League champions. Aouar has been a consistent performer since establishing himself in Lyon's side during 2017-18, and is sure to be the one France look to supply the firepower for his club-mate Moussa Dembele. The 20-year-old, who is an exceptional passer, also thrives on getting among the goals, scoring 14 times in all competitions for Lyon over the course of the past two seasons.

Romania – Florinel Coman (Steaua Bucharest)

Winger Coman reportedly has a €100m release clause in his contract with Steaua Bucharest, whom he joined in 2017. A tricky, quick player with an eye for goal - he scored 12 across all competitions last term - he is without a doubt Romania's shining light heading into the tournament.

Liverpool have postponed their pre-season friendly against Schalke at Anfield after the Premier League fixtures were announced on Thursday.

Jurgen Klopp's side, who finished as runners-up behind Manchester City in a tightly contested title race last season, will open the 2019-20 Premier League season against newly promoted Norwich City on Friday, August 9.

Schalke were due to visit the home of the Champions League winners on Tuesday, August 6, in what had been planned as the Reds' final pre-season outing.

However, the Norwich game has taken precedence, with a three-day turnaround deemed too tight for Liverpool to prepare for their opening match.

Liverpool and Schalke have confirmed they will attempt to rearrange the fixture for 2020, while the Bundesliga side have announced they will try to reimburse travelling fans who had already booked flights.

Schalke have announced the signing of Jonjoe Kenny on loan from Everton for the 2019-20 campaign.

The 22-year-old, who made his debut for the Toffees in May 2016, played second fiddle to Seamus Coleman last season and was restricted to just 13 appearances across all competitions.

The Bundesliga side announced the arrival of the right-back via a humorous social media post that riffed on the "oh my god, they killed Kenny" catchphrase from TV show South Park.

Kenny, who is on duty with England ahead of the European Under-21 Championships, told the club's official website: "It is a big chance for me, to come to a new country and show off my abilities, especially at a big club like Schalke.

"Schalke is a club with a long history and fantastic fans. I am happy to be here and can't wait to get up and running with the team."

Schalke have confirmed David Wagner will take over as their new head coach from the 2019-20 season, with the former Huddersfield Town boss having signed a three-year contract.

Wagner's hugely successful tenure at Huddersfield - which saw him gain promotion to the Premier League in 2017 and secure survival the following year - came to an end in January, the 47-year-old departing by mutual consent with the Terriers bottom of the table and doomed to relegation.

He will now return to management with Schalke, who sacked Domenico Tedesco as their head coach in March and are currently under the interim management of Huub Stevens.

The Gelsenkirchen club secured their Bundesliga status for another campaign last weekend, having endured a miserable season on the back of a second-place finish in 2017-18.

They will hope for an improvement in fortunes under Wagner, a former Schalke player who won the UEFA Cup with the club in 1997.

"I know from my own best experience as a player the strength that Schalke 04 can develop when the team, club and fans pull together," said Wagner.

"To dive into this world again and help to change the current situation for the better - that is the biggest motivation for me to return to the Bundesliga."

Prior to his stint at Huddersfield, Wagner worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, where he coached the club's second team.

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus has been handed a two-game suspension following his red card against Schalke, while team-mate Marius Wolf will miss three matches for his dismissal in the same fixture.

Reus was sent off for a lunge on Suat Serdar after an hour of Dortmund's home Revierderby defeat to Schalke, before Wolf saw red for a challenge on the same visiting player five minutes later.

However, the DFB has ruled that Reus should get a lighter punishment than Wolf due to the intent of his attempted tackle.

DFB sports court chairman Hans Lorenz said: "These similar cases differ in that Marco Reus wanted to play the ball, whereas Marius Wolf did not [try to] play [the] ball. [Wolf] had no chance to reach the ball with his tackling."

The two-match ban means Reus will be available to return to action before the end of the Bundesliga season, missing fixtures against Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf but free to feature at former club Borussia Monchengladbach, where Wolf will still be absent.

Saturday's 4-2 reverse saw Dortmund miss the opportunity to put pressure on league leaders Bayern Munich, although the champions' subsequent draw at Nurnberg left them just two points clear.

Reus apologised to his team-mates for leaving Dortmund a man short against Schalke, acknowledging that his incident was a "clear red card".

Meanwhile, Dortmund coach Lucien Favre raged that the interpretation of the handball rule is becoming "ridiculous" after a VAR review saw Julian Weigl concede a penalty earlier in the match.

Former Borussia Dortmund defender Marc Bartra has condemned a banner held by Schalke supporters during Saturday's Revierderby that apparently showed support for the bomb attack on Dortmund's team bus two years ago. 

Schalke won 4-2 at Signal Iduna Park on Saturday, as Dortmund had captain Marco Reus and defender Marius Wolf sent off for second-half lunges on Suat Serdar and saw their Bundesliga title hopes fade significantly.

But a famous victory inspired by two Daniel Caligiuri goals was marred by the appearance of a banner among the travelling supporters that read "Still a bombing [good] idea, freedom for Sergej W". 

Sergej W was the identifying name publicly given to the man convicted of 28 counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison after targeting Dortmund's squad with three explosions ahead of their April 2017 Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco. 

Retweeting a post reporting the Schalke banner, Real Betis centre-back Bartra – who was hospitalised by the attack and underwent surgery on a fractured wrist – strongly condemned those responsible.

"Intolerable, unacceptable and sad," he tweeted. 

"A football rivalry is one thing [but] it is another to demand the freedom of someone who played with the lives of 28 people." 

Schalke supporters could also face scrutiny after Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the away end when celebrating Mario Gotze's 14th minute opener. 

The England international was off the field receiving treatment during the incident that led to Schalke's 18th-minute penalty – converted by Caligiuri after a VAR handball review controversially went against Julian Weigl. 

"When the penalty was awarded, Sancho received treatment on the sideline after being hit by a lighter from the crowd," Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre told Sky. 

"It really wasn't a good performance from the referee. Too much has happened today." 

Dortmund fans similarly faced criticism for their conduct after a large banner containing a homophobic slur was unveiled on the Yellow Wall terrace. 

Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus apologised for letting his team down with a red card in the chastening 4-2 derby defeat at home to Schalke. 

Dortmund took an early lead through Mario Gotze but their afternoon and Bundesliga title hopes unravelled thereafter, with Daniel Caligiuri equalising from the penalty spot and Salif Sane giving the visitors a half-time lead at Signal Iduna Park. 

There was no way back after Reus received his marching orders for a lunge on Suat Serdar – Caligiuri scoring spectacularly from the resulting free-kick. 

Marius Wolf foolishly replicated Reus' tackle on Serdar and was sent off five minutes later as Dortmund's composure deserted them. 

Breel Embolo completed a famous win for Schalke after Axel Witsel briefly reduced the arrears for the nine men. 

Reus led extended protests against referee Felix Zwayer after his dismissal but, on reflection, he felt he could have no complaints. 

"It was a clear red card. I was late," he told Sport1. 

"Anyone who knows me knows that I did not want to hurt him. I am sorry to the team." 

Bayern Munich will go four points clear of Dortmund at the Bundesliga summit if they win at struggling Nurnberg on Sunday and BVB head coach Lucien Favre declared his team's title hopes to be over after the derby. 

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre believes the interpretation of football's handball rule is becoming "ridiculous" after his team's devastating 4-2 Revierderby defeat to Schalke turned on a penalty awarded against Julian Weigl. 

Mario Gotze headed Dortmund into an early lead but Daniel Caligiuri levelled from an 18th-minute penalty, with Weigl deemed guilty via a VAR review when a shot was blasted at him from close quarters. 

Dortmund unravelled horribly thereafter, with Salif Sane putting Schalke ahead and Caligiuri netting a stunning 62nd-minute free-kick either side of Marco Reus and Marius Wolf being red carded for lunging tackles on Suat Serdar. 

"I've never experienced something like this, it's difficult to deal with," Favre told Sky, after Breel Embolo completed the scoring to render Axel Witsel's 85th-minuite goal for nine-man Dortmund a greater irrelevance. 

"The penalty shows how ridiculous football has become. This handball rule, it is the biggest scandal in football that nobody knows anything about it. It's a disgrace." 

The former Nice boss picked up the theme at his post-match news conference. 

"It's a joke," he said. "Not just today's penalty, but in general. Should the players cut off their arms and run without them?" 

Schalke boss Huub Stevens looked perplexed on the sideline when the penalty was awarded and offered sympathy to his opposite number. 

"I think it's very disgusting that a penalty like this has been given," he said.

"I told Lucien Favre that I am not happy with it as well. But my team received these kind of decisions against us in the weeks before." 

Favre chose not to complain in a similar manner about the red cards awarded to his captain Reus and Wolf, but again suggested he did not agree with referee Felix Zwayer's interpretations. 

"We have to avoid these situations. But we need to admit that the referee didn't have his best day," he said.

Schalke midfielder Omar Mascarell stated Dortmund lost their composure and felt Reus and Wolf could have no complaints. 

"When the result is not what you want, sometimes you get nervous and lose yourself," he said. 

"For me it was two red cards." 

Victory for Bayern Munich over second-bottom Nurnberg on Sunday will increase the champions' lead over Dortmund to four points with three matches to play and Favre felt it was time to concede the title. 

"Yes, of course, the title race is done," he added. "It's hard to stomach but it is what it is."

Nine-man Borussia Dortmund collapsed to a nightmare 4-2 Revierderby defeat against bitter rivals Schalke, leaving Bayern Munich as strong favourites to win a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title. 

Lucien Favre's side looked set to keep their bid for glory on track when Jadon Sancho brilliantly created Mario Gotze's early goal but Daniel Caligiuri converted an 18th-minute penalty. 

Salif Sane gave Schalke the lead before the half hour and Caligiuri scored a magnificent free-kick in between red cards for Marco Reus and Marius Wolf as Dortmund imploded at a remarkable rate. 

Axel Witsel pulled one back five minutes from time but Breel Embolo lashed another fine finish into the bottom corner, sparking more delirious celebrations from the travelling Schalke contingent.

Bayern will go four points clear at the summit with three games to play if they beat struggling Nurnberg on Sunday. 

United States midfielder Weston McKennie suffered a ruptured ankle ligament in the friendly win over Ecuador, his club Schalke have confirmed.

McKennie was stretchered off in the second half of Thursday's 1-0 win in Orlando, although he remained with the USA squad as they travelled to Houston to face Chile.

However, Schalke announced on Monday that the 20-year-old was travelling back to Gelsenkirchen to begin rehabilitation after the extent of his injury was confirmed.

McKennie has made 19 Bundesliga appearances this season, playing a further six matches in the Champions League.

Gregg Berhalter's USA will also be without Tyler Adams against Chile as the RB Leipzig midfielder returned to his club following the Ecuador match.

Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez also went back to FC Dallas.

A healthy Huub Stevens has called on everyone at Schalke to unite together and turn around the team's fortunes following Domenico Tedesco's departure.

Veteran coach Stevens, who stepped down from his last job at Hoffenheim due to a heart condition, has returned for a third spell in charge of struggling Schalke.

The 65-year-old won the UEFA Cup and DFB-Pokal in his first stint but is now charged with steering the club away from the Bundesliga relegation zone.

Tedesco oversaw a second-placed finish in the league last season but has struggled to replicate the same success in 2018-19, with Tuesday's 7-0 Champions League loss at Manchester City proving to be his final game in charge.

"First of all, I want to thank Domenico Tedesco for his honest and hard work here at Schalke," Stevens told the media.

"I talked personally with him after the meeting for a while I can tell you that we will stay friends.

"Everybody deserves a second chance. We will talk to the players before the RB Leipzig game [on Saturday] and then make our decisions. It's nice to be able to surprise people.

"I want everyone to show some passion and to all work together. We need to be a family."

Stevens confirmed he would not have accepted the opportunity to coach again if there were any concerns over his health.

"If my health were an issue, I wouldn't be sitting here," he added.

"That still is most important to me. But I feel good at the moment and I hope that still will be the case in three months."

Schalke have not recorded a Bundesliga victory since January 20 but head of sports Jochen Schneider admitted it was still a tough decision to part ways with Tedesco.

"We thought a lot about this whole process and carefully considered our decision," Schneider said.

"Ultimately we decided that we couldn't turn things around with our current set-up. That's why we let Domenico go."

Domenico Tedesco has been sacked as Schalke head coach, the Bundesliga club have confirmed.

Tedesco led Schalke to an impressive second position behind champions Bayern Munich but events have unravelled somewhat this time around.

The loss of star man Leon Goretzka to Bayern took a toll and Schalke lie 14th in the table, four points above third-bottom Stuttgart.

Progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League ultimately proved a dubious blessing and Tuesday night's 7-0 thrashing at Manchester City sealed a 10-2 aggregate defeat in the last-16 – the second largest loss in the history of the competition – and Tedesco's fate.

Veteran coach Huub Stevens will begin a third spell in charge of Schalke alongside Mike Buskens on an interim basis when they host RB Leipzig on Saturday.

They take charge of a team that is without a win in seven Bundesliga games and that has conceded 21 goals during five consecutive defeats across all competitions.

"This decision was anything but easy, as we really appreciate Domenico Tedesco at Schalke," said sporting director Jochen Schneider, who was appointed by the club at the end of last month following a spell with RB Leipzig.

"However, we can't fail to recognise that the development this season has been negative.

"When I took the job, I demanded a turnaround due to the current situation in the Bundesliga.

"After careful consideration, we came to the conclusion that this wouldn't be possible with the current staff."

Pep Guardiola insists there is no chance of Manchester City youngster Phil Foden being sent out on loan to gain more first-team experience.

Foden produced an eye-catching cameo in City's 7-0 Champions League demolition of Schalke on Tuesday, scoring his first goal in Europe's premier club competition in the process.

The 18-year-old midfielder has six in all competitions this season but is yet to start a Premier League game amid a squad stacked with talent in the creative midfield positions.

Nevertheless, Guardiola is unequivocal in his view that the England Under-21 international is in the best place for his development.

"The people say he doesn't play too much. He is 18 years old and he has played a lot of minutes," he said.

"The people say he should be on loan; Phil Foden will not be on loan. All the time he is here he will be close to me because he is an incredibly talented player.

"He is with us. Congratulations [to him], because the minutes he played he did really well."

Working under Guardiola's watchful eye can sometimes be a thankless task, as City wingers Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling can ascertain.

Sane's blistering first-leg free-kick against his former club Schalke, with City 2-1 down and depleted by Nicolas Otamendi's red card, proved to be a pivotal moment in the tie.

The Germany winger clinically dispatched the third goal in the return rout before crossing for Sterling to brilliantly score his 19th of the season on the half-volley after half-time.

Guardiola felt his wingers could have shown more aggression during the opening-half exchanges – a period of relative calm before the storm that would engulf Schalke.

Asked whether this was Sane's best performance for some time, Guardiola replied: "After the first goal, yes; before no.

"He was not aggressive enough in the first 20 minutes. I like when he runs and is aggressive and goes. Even if he loses the ball.

"The same with Raheem. The first half in the last game [against Watford] was not good. The second, with the hat-trick, was much better.

"But they are young. These ups and downs can happen. I know Leroy in the last games did not play too much and the confidence can be not good. But after 20 minutes he was outstanding.

"We know the incredible qualities he has. It is difficult to find that around the world."

These are the sorts of problems brow-beaten Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco looked like he would welcome with open arms.

"Of course, it hurts when you lose 5-, 6- or 7-0 to stand there but that is why I'm here. It really hurt," he said.

"I have to say, I don't feel let down. At 2-0, it was two goals that happened quickly, otherwise it is clear they didn't stop playing. City did everything you need to win the game by that level."

Schalke lost each of their three Bundesliga games in between the two legs against City, conceding 11 goals in the process.

With a relegation battle looming, Tedesco insisted worrying about his own future would be a waste of energy.

"I haven't thought about that for a second and I don't imagine changing anything on my part. Even now I am proud to be coach of Schalke 04," he added.

"I am happy to be here in this difficult situation. I've not thought about my position. That's the last thing that I think about."

Pep Guardiola does not want to see English domination of the Champions League quarter-final places continue with Liverpool beating Bayern Munich.

City dispatched Bundesliga opposition in resounding fashion on Tuesday, Sergio Aguero's brace setting in motion a 7-0 demolition of Schalke – the 10-2 overall scoreline standing as the second biggest aggregate margin in the competition's history.

The Premier League champions join Tottenham and Manchester United as three of the six confirmed quarter-finalists, with Liverpool locked at 0-0 with Bayern heading into their Wednesday encounter at the Allianz Arena.

But the nip-and-tuck title race being fought domestically with Jurgen Klopp's men has not engendered a level of solidary that will allow Guardiola to cast aside his three Bundesliga-winning seasons in charge of Bayern.

"I am sorry for the English people, I want Bayern to go through," City manager Guardiola told a post-match news conference.

"I am part of this club, I had an incredible three years. I love Munich and have a lot of friends there.

"It is a demanding game for both but I feel I like Bayern Munich and hopefully they can go through.

"In terms of what happened with Spanish teams and German teams, arriving many times in the finals, this season it is a surprise.

"Hopefully Barcelona tomorrow can go through [against Lyon] and reach the quarter-finals. For English football it is nice that there are three teams in the quarter finals and Liverpool maybe."

Runners-up last term, Schalke are languishing four points above the Bundesliga relegation zone this time around and Domenico Tedesco saw his side's lack of form and confidence brutally exposed.

Nevertheless, it was a statement win for City in a tournament where they have often flattered to deceive.

"As a club we are a teenager [in the Champions League] because the best success in our history is one semi-final," Guardiola said, returning to a pre-match analogy.

"When you compare to Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich… our best success is one semi-final.

"But the teenagers have passion, they have desire, they are not scared and have good things."

But Guardiola, as he reflected upon Juventus' astonishing Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired comeback to unseat Atletico Madrid in Turin, knows tougher challenges away for a team still in contention for an unprecedented quadruple.

"Thank you so much for your confidence in me. I won two [Champions Leagues] but I lost seven. I'm not Real Madrid," he added.

"Madrid are out but, still, look at Juventus. This guy, Cristiano Ronaldo… he goes there to win the Champions League

"Two times they have lost [in the final recently], they get Cristiano to go there.

"They have all the pressure on his shoulders and he scores three goals against Atletico Madrid. That is the type of teams we have to face."

Pep Guardiola praised the competition in Manchester City's squad after Leroy Sane stepped into the starting XI and tore through Schalke in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Germany international Sane starred in a 7-0 thrashing of his former club as City cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a 10-2 aggregate triumph in a one-sided last-16 tie.

The 23-year-old scored one and set up three others to justify his selection ahead of Riyad Mahrez, one of three changes made following the weekend Premier League defeat of Watford.

Kevin De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany all missed the match but their absences proved no impediment for the Premier League leaders, who condemned Schalke to the heaviest Champions League loss suffered by a German side.

"They know they have to compete with each other," City manager Guardiola told BT Sport.

"Everybody wants to play and everybody has to play at a good level. Today everybody tried to play, to be involved and keep going.

"In the last game Riyad [Mahrez] was one of the best players and today Leroy played at a good level.

"We are happy to achieve the quarter-finals. Hopefully we can achieve one step forward."

City have won 10 straight matches in all competitions since the start of February and remain in the hunt for four major trophies.

However, Guardiola warned it is imperative that the squad's sidelined stars make quick recoveries in order to maintain an imperious run of form.

"At the moment we have a lot of injured players," he said. "We want to continue this run, especially in April, but we need players to come back fit or it won't be possible."

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