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Semi-finals: Turkey v England, Spain v Germany

Published: Monday 15 May 2017, 14.34CET
Santi Denia will lead Spain out in a UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-final against Germany for the second successive year, after Turkey aim to stop the England juggernaut.
by Wayne Harrison
from Zagreb
Semi-finals: Turkey v England, Spain v Germany
Malik Karaahmet, England winger Jadon Sancho, Spain captain Abel Ruiz and Jann-Fiete Arp ©Sportsfile

Road to the final

The UEFA European Under-17 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament. The format changed for 2014/15 with the expansion of the final tournament from eight to 16 teams.

Qualifying round
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four countries playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each pool progress alongside the four third-placed sides with the best record against the leading pair in their groups.

Elite round
In the elite round, held in early spring, those 30 qualifiers plus the top two seeds – given a bye this far – compete in eight mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners and seven runners-up with the best record against the teams first and third in their section advance to the finals to join the hosts.

Final tournament
In the final tournament the contenders are split into four groups of four, with the front two from each proceeding to the knockout phase.

Further details, including the criteria for separating sides that finish level on points in a group, or after 80 minutes in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.


Published: Monday 15 May 2017, 14.34CET

Semi-finals: Turkey v England, Spain v Germany

Santi Denia will lead Spain out in a UEFA European Under-17 Championship semi-final against Germany for the second successive year, after Turkey aim to stop the England juggernaut.


Turkey v England – 17:45CET, Zapresic, live Eurosport 1

Turkey (Group A runners-up)
Quarter-final: 1-0 v Hungary
Top scorer in Croatia: Malik Karaahmet 3
U17 EURO best: winners 2005

Mehmet Hacioğlu, coach
I had four favourites before the tournament and one of them was England. They're very good physically and make sound tactical decisions. We won't devise a special plan for them, but we will play differently in that game.


Turkey celebrate qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup

We're very happy to have reached our goal [of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup], but I can't be satisfied with our performance against Hungary. The players, due to their age, couldn't get over the stress of the occasion and we didn't play as we wanted to.

• This is Turkey's best performance at a U17 EURO finals since a squad including Nuri Şahin, Caner Erkin and Volkan Babacan triumphed in 2005. Turkey also reached the semi-finals in 2008 and 2010, when the final tournament consisted of eight sides.

England (Group D winners)
Quarter-final: 1-0 v Republic of Ireland
Top scorer in Croatia: Jadon Sancho 4
U17 EURO best: winners 2010, 2014


Steve Cooper, coach
We know bits about Turkey, but the focus will be very much on ourselves. We're fully aware of anyone we play – we have been all year – and so the approach will be exactly the same. We'll be ready. To win ten straight games [in this season's competition] in the way we have, the players deserve real recognition.

• Cooper has named the same XI for all four matches in Croatia. England have not conceded a goal since the eighth minute of the 3-1 victory over Norway in their group opener. 

Spain v Germany – 20:30CET, Varazdin, live on Eurosport 1

Spain (Group A winners)
Quarter-final: 3-1 v France
Top scorer: Abel Ruiz 4
U17 EURO best: winners 2007, 2008


Abel Ruiz also scored four goals at the 2016 finals in Baku

Santi Denia, coach
Germany are probably the most attacking team, not only in this final tournament but also in recent years. They've scored 17 goals [in four matches] and they're strong in all departments. We hope to counter that offensive play, but it's there to see in the numbers.

We'll try to work and defend as a group, but Arp is surrounded by great players – No18 [John Yeboah], No10 [Elias Abouchabaka] and No6 [Noah Awuku]. He's very good.

• Spain captain Abel Ruiz – who equalled the record for most U17 EURO finals goals (8) on Friday along with France's Amine Gouiri – requires one more to become the competition's all-time leading scorer, qualifying included. The Barcelona forward is tied with Portugal's José Gomes on 16. 

Watch Abel Ruiz equalise as Spain defeat Germany in the 2016 semi-finals in Baku

Germany (Group C winners)
Quarter-final: 2-1 v Netherlands
Top scorer in Croatia: Jann-Fiete Arp 7
U17 EURO best: winners 2009


Christian Wück, coach
Spain have very good individual players. As a team they're fast and strong, so we have to make sure we play well and not just for one half [like against the Netherlands]. We were very lucky because the Netherlands were the better team in the first half.

We have two players [Dominik Becker and Alexander Nitzl] who can take Jan Boller's place at centre-back. It's unfortunate he's suspended for the semi-final.

Suspended: Jan Boller

• Given a bye to the elite round, Germany have won all seven of their fixtures in this season's UEFA European Under-17 Championship.

Last updated: 16/05/17 20.07CET

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