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Preview: Saturday's U17 EURO quarter-finals

Austria are up against a "technically unbelievable" Portugal team in the first of Saturday's quarter-finals, where Germany face an obdurate Belgium side full of confidence.

Portugal and Belgium have been strong defensively throughout the 2015/16 competition
Portugal and Belgium have been strong defensively throughout the 2015/16 competition ©Sportsfile

Portugal v Austria (13.00CET/15.00 local, Dalga Arena)
• With Portugal already through, coach Hélio Sousa took the opportunity to rotate his squad against Belgium on Wednesday, making six changes. Diogo Dalot, Gedson Fernandes, top scorer José Gomes, Mesaque Dju, Diogo Leite and Florentino – all of whom started the Group A victories against Azerbaijan (5-0) and Scotland (2-0) – were rested for the goalless draw.


"We used some players who haven't had an official game for about three weeks, which is a long time, but it was important to get them involved and have everybody ready for the rest of the competition," Sousa told UEFA.com. "We weren't as fluid as we have been, but we know that can happen."

• Austria coach Andreas Heraf welcomes back four players as he plots how to overcome a Portugal side yet to concede a goal in Baku. Like their opponents, Austria qualified with a group game to spare, having beaten Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine 2-0 respectively in Group B, although a weakened team was no match for Germany last time out.

Highlights: Germany 4-0 Austria

"It [the 4-0 reverse] wasn't unexpected because I had two players suspended [left-back Alexander Burgstaller and midfielder Jorg Wagnes] and two injured so I had to mix up the formation," said Heraf. "It wasn't a good experience and wasn't easy for them to lose against Germany, but we now have another match. If you know Portuguese football you'll appreciate that they're technically unbelievable, so we're not the favourites."

Germany v Belgium (18.00/20.00, Dalga Arena)
• Germany have slowly moved through the gears since coming from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Ukraine eight days ago. While their pressure eventually told in a 3-1 success against ten-man Bosnia and Herzegovina, Meikel Schönweitz's charges were untouchable in breezing past Austria. "We learned from the Ukraine game," said Schönweitz. "We made some mistakes we didn't repeat against Austria."

Belgium keeper Mile Svilar is being well protected
Belgium keeper Mile Svilar is being well protected©Sportsfile

Schönweitz is reading nothing into 2-0 and 2-1 triumphs over Belgium in October friendlies. "Neither team was at their strongest," he said. "We wanted to look at some players and so did Belgium. They're good defensively and very strong."

• Thierry Siquet is quietly confident Belgium, who enjoyed a stroll around Baku on Friday morning, can reach the semi-finals for the second year running. Under his stewardship, the Red Devils have kept six clean sheets in their last seven outings in this competition. "It'll be difficult, like it was against Portugal," he explained.

"We're looking at ourselves and we'll see about Germany tomorrow at 8 o'clock. Germany are strong, but Austria had qualified. It was 3-0 after 25 minutes, two of the goals deflected. We didn't learn anything from that match."

Suspended: Daouda Peeters (Belgium)