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.
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.
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.
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.
The winners of the quarter-finals qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held in India from 6–28 October. The two best losers – as per article 16(6) of the competition regulations – will contest a play-off match on 16 May to decide Europe's fifth and last berth at the tournament.
England v Republic of Ireland – 12:00CET, Velika Gorica
Steve Cooper, coach
We haven't conceded a goal since the sixth minute of the first game, and rightly so. It's the European Championship so you're going to face good players, but the stats tell you everything. It starts with Josef [Bursik] in goal, but we play as a team, in and out of possession. We defend from the front and if we get that right it's a bit easier throughout the pitch.
Misses next match if booked: Lewis Gibson, Tashan Oakley-Boothe
• England have won all nine of their fixtures in this season's competition, keeping clean sheets in six of them.
Colin O'Brien, coach
We're going to have to get back to what we're good at – being hard to beat. It's important everyone understands their individual and collective roles. There's still a threat in our team, I've no doubt about that, but everyone has to realise we have to be better than we were against Germany [a 7-0 loss on Wednesday]. We're underdogs against England, 100%, but what's great is we have another game.
Misses next match if booked: Aaron Bolger, Aaron Connolly, Jordan Doherty, Kameron Ledwidge
• Connolly was Ireland's leading scorer in qualifying with seven goals as they won all six of their matches.
Germany v Netherlands – 17:45CET, Zapresic, live on Eurosport 1
Christian Wück, coach
I was very proud of our attacking play in the group stage. We did it well in all three games, scoring in the first ten minutes of each match. We want to be dominant and the players believe in it. Jann-Fiete Arp is a very good player, not only for us but also for Hamburg in the U17 Bundesliga. He's a leading player for us on and off the pitch. He's very technical and a great header of the ball. He knows what spaces to take up – he's very intelligent.
Misses next match if booked: Jan Boller, John Yeboah
• Arp hit two hat-tricks, one of them in a U17-EURO-finals-record 13 minutes, in the group stage. Germany's 15 goals eclipsed by two the previous best for a UEFA men's national-team final tournament group.
Kees van Wonderen, coach
Germany are a strong nation, a strong team. We played them in Portugal at the beginning of the year. They have strength and quality and they are scoring goals for fun. It'll be another hard game, but also for them as well. For the players' development it will be a great one to play in. They must make the best of it and learn for the future.
Suspended: Tijn Daverveld
Misses next match if booked: Thijs Oosting, Jasper Schendelaar
• The Dutch led twice when these two countries met in a February friendly, only to concede an added-time equaliser and draw 2-2.
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