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Under-17 EURO: Group B preview

The Faroe Islands start their debut UEFA tournament at any level against Scotland while Hungary, back in the U17 EURO finals mix for the first time since 2006, play France.

Left to right: Scot Gemmil, Áki Johansen, Lionel Rouxel and Zoltán Szélesi
Left to right: Scot Gemmil, Áki Johansen, Lionel Rouxel and Zoltán Szélesi ©Sportsfile

Faroe Islands
Previous final tournaments: 0
Most recent: N/A
Best performance: N/A
Qualifying round: Czech Republic 2-0, Switzerland 0-3, Luxembourg 2-2 (Group 3 runners-up)
Elite round: Republic of Ireland 0-4, Cyprus 0-0, Slovakia 2-1 (Group 8 runners-up)
Top scorer: Tórur Jacobsen 3

Áki Johansen, coach: The seniors won 1-0 against Austria in 1990. The islanders have lived off that victory for many years, but everyone agrees that qualifying for this tournament is Faroese football's biggest achievement.

We're definitely the underdogs in this group. The message for my players is not to be scared and to enjoy the occasion because it's unlikely they'll compete in events like this again very soon. We also want to deliver what we did in the two previous rounds. If we fight for everything we'll always have a chance.

©Sportsfile

France
Previous final tournaments: 10
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: Winners 2004, 2015
Qualifying round: Montenegro 2-1, Estonia 7-0, Slovenia 1-1 (Group 5 winners)
Elite round: Austria 1-1, Ukraine 3-1, Sweden 2-0 (Group 6 winners)
Top scorer: Yacine Adli 4

Lionel Rouxel, coach: I have a good squad of boys – they're not a team, but a group. All 18 players are important. If you want to go far in the competition you need to rely on everyone.

The first match against Hungary is big, it won't be easy. We don't know what will happen, but I'm going to prepare my group and I hope we'll win because our objective is to be among the last four and reach the U-17 World Cup in India.

©Sportsfile

Hungary
Previous final tournaments: 3
Most recent: 2006
Best performance: group stage
Qualifying round: Liechtenstein 3-0, Denmark 3-1, Netherlands 0-4 (Group 7 runners-up)
Elite round: Israel 0-1, Russia 2-1, Norway 1-0 (Group 2 winners)
Top scorer:

Zoltán Szélesi, coach: The individual quality of this group of players is better than in previous years, but in the past we've also lacked a bit of luck. Half of this squad play abroad for big teams like Stoke City and Ajax who've polished up our players. They're still young, but this qualification means they're going the right way.

©Sportsfile

Scotland
Previous final tournaments: 4
Most recent: 2016
Best performance: semi-finals 2014
Qualifying round: Malta 6-0, Wales 1-0, Portugal 1-0 (Group 10 winners)
Elite round: Montenegro 6-1, Serbia 1-0, Switzerland 1-0 (Group 4 winners)
Top scorer: Glenn Middleton 5

Scot Gemmill, coach: Nobody qualifies for the finals by chance – we know how hard it is to do it. They will all be difficult matches, but that's why we're here. We want our players to play against the best and we need to show we can compete at this level.

Four successive qualifications hopefully shows people that there's a lot of good work going on at the Scottish FA and the clubs in Scotland on a day-to-day basis. We're extremely proud of that record, but we know how tough it is and how prepared our opponents will be so we have to make sure we're ready to carry on the good form we showed in qualifying.

©Sportsfile