Under-17 EURO: Group D preview

England and the Netherlands reprise their UEFA European Under-17 Championship rivalry in Group D, a section that also features Ukraine and finals debutants Norway.

England and the Netherlands have met seven times in a U17 EURO final tournament
England and the Netherlands have met seven times in a U17 EURO final tournament ©Sportsfile

England
Previous final tournaments: 11
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: winners 2010, 2014
Qualifying round: Azerbaijan 2-0, Romania 3-0, Austria 3-2 (Group 6 winners)
Elite round: Czech Republic 5-3, Slovenia 4-0, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 (Group 7 winners)
Top scorer: Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho 4

Steve Cooper, coach: It's a tough group with a good variety. We've played the Dutch this season [winning 1-0 in February] and we've a good history against them. We'll play teams from different parts of Europe, with different styles, and face different experiences in every game, but that's what you want from this tournament.

My message to the players is to make the most of the opportunity. There's everything to play for and nothing to fear. It's a privilege to be here and an honour to be representing your country in a major tournament.

2014 U17 EURO final: England defeat the Netherlands on penalties
2014 U17 EURO final: England defeat the Netherlands on penalties

Netherlands
Previous final tournaments: 10
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: winners 2011, 2012
Qualifying round: Denmark 2-0, Liechtenstein 9-0, Hungary 4-0 (Group 7 winners)
Elite round: Belgium 2-0, Belarus 3-2, Italy 2-1 (Group 5 winners)
Top scorer: Thomas Buitink, Daishawn Redan 4

Kees van Wonderen led the Dutch at the 2016 finals
Kees van Wonderen led the Dutch at the 2016 finals©Sportsfile

Kees van Wonderen, coach: Winning all of our matches in qualifying was a good first step. It shows that we have a strong team with many qualities. Our first game against Ukraine will be a real test because they qualified from an elite round group containing France, Sweden and Austria. They must have a strong squad to have done that.

Norway
Previous final tournaments: 0
Most recent: N/A
Best performance: N/A
Qualifying round: Turkey 0-2, Lithuania 2-1, Ukraine 2-2 (Group 13 runners-up)
Elite round: Russia 2-2, Israel 3-0, Hungary 0-1 (Group 2 runners-up)
Top scorer: Erling Håland, Emil Kalsaas 2

Norway are coached by former Chelsea man Erland Johnsen
Norway are coached by former Chelsea man Erland Johnsen©Getty Images

Erland Johnsen, coach: It's Norway's first U17 finals, so we're looking forward to it. It's a good challenge to meet England in the first game, it's going to be fun. England are the favourites and it's going to be a real dogfight for second place.

We went through two tough qualification rounds so we're positive and think we're going to vie for one of the first two places. We want to make our opponents fight for the points. We enjoy the physical side. That's going to be to our advantage and help us get through to the next stage, we really believe that.

Ukraine
Previous final tournaments: 5
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: group stage 2002, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2016
Qualifying round: 1-1 Lithuania, 0-1 Turkey, 2-2 Norway (third place in Group 13)
Elite round: Sweden 2-1, France 1-3, Austria 2-1 (Group 6 runners-up)
Top scorer: Olexiy Kashchuk 4

Sergii Popov, coach: We want to show our strength against some tough opponents – that's something we're really looking forward to. On paper, the Netherlands and England are favourites in this group, but ourselves and Norway aren't here to roll over. 

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