Duo set for UEFA duel

Frank Nouble and Eoin Wearen could go head to head when England and the Republic of Ireland meet in the next stage of the 2010 UEFA European U19 Championship.

The two nations were paired together in the Elite round draw held this week at UEFA headquarters in Switzerland, and will joined by mini-tournament hosts Ukraine and Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group 3. The matches will take place between 26 and 31 May. Players are eligible to play if they were born on or after 1 January 1991.

The 18-year-old Nouble, who has scored in his last two matches for the Hammers reserves, played in all three matches as England won their qualifying round group in October, defeating Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland. Nouble has been involved with the first team this season, making his debut on the opening day of the season at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ireland finished second in their group, losing to winners Italy but defeating Albania and San Marino. Reserve-team midfielder Wearen, 17, has yet to be capped at U19 level but played twice for his country's U18s in two recent friendlies in Turkey. He is still eligible for the FA Youth Cup and was involved in the 1-0 win at Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday night.

Only the group winners will progress to the U19 finals to be held in northern France next summer between 18 and 30 July. There could also be plenty of Hammers interest in four of the other Elite round sections.

In Group 4, Turkey may call upon Under-20 goalkeeper Deniz Mehmet, still only 17, for their matches with Norway, Spain and Azerbaijan which they are hosting between 14 and 19 April. Group 5 features Northern Ireland, who could call upon tricky midfielder Danny Kearns, 18, for their ties against Italy, Czech Republic and Russia between 21 and 26 May.

In Group 6, Polish right-back Filip Modelski, 17, will hope to figure against the Netherlands, Germany and Slovakia between 18 and 23 May while in Group 7, 18-year-old left-back Fabio Daprela's Switzerland are in a strong section that also features Austria, Denmark and Serbia and will be played out between 25 and 30 May.