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Villa to host decisive U21 clash


The Aston Villan

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England Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce will lock horns with Wales' Brian Flynn

Both venues for next month's crucial Under-21 European Championship play-off between England and Wales' have been confirmed.

The first leg will take place on Friday 10 October at Cardiff's Ninian Park while the second leg is set for Tuesday 14 October at Villa Park in Birmingham.

The winners of the play-off will progress to next summer's finals in Sweden.

Low ticket prices have been set for both matches to attract fans.

The English FA has set ticket prices at £10 for adults and £5 for under-16s, while the Welsh FA (FAW) will be charging £5 for adults and £3 for under-16s.

"It is Ninian Park's last season so this is likely to be one of the last international matches played there," FAW spokesman Ceri Stennett told BBC Sport.

"We hope to make it an occasion and make it an 11,000 sell-out".

Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey is likely to be included in the Wales squad while England will have a host of Premier League names on show, with Aston Villa well-represented on their home pitch for the second-leg.

James Milner, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Craig Gardner all in the squad. 606: DEBATE

Can Wales upset the odds?

England topped their qualifying group, but manager Stuart Pearce is expecting a tough tie against a Wales team that beat Romania in their last match to ensure a play-off place.

"Wales are probably as strong as they have ever been at this level, with several players experienced in senior internationals,” Pearce said.

"Whenever the British teams meet there is always that special edge to the game, especially with the stakes being so high.

"It will be an exciting night at Villa Park and it's that sort of atmosphere that we want to create for the under-21s.

"The team showed against Portugal at Wembley last month that they relish playing in front of a big support and I can only see it helping them as a group."

Pearce led his team to the European Championship semi-finals last year, when they lost in a penalty shoot-out against Holland, and they also beat Wales 2-0 with goals from Tom Huddlestone and Theo Walcott when the two teams met in a friendly at Wrexham in May.

Both play-off matches kick off at 1945 BST.

Nice to see the FA taking a leaf out of the Villa's book and charging such small amounts

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