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Croatia, Czechs, Germany targeting second wins

Croatia, the Czech Republic and Germany will aim to make it six points out of six on Saturday and progress to the last eight from Groups A and B with a match to spare.

Niklas Schmidt scored a long-range goal in Germany's 2-0 defeat of Belgium on Wednesday
Niklas Schmidt scored a long-range goal in Germany's 2-0 defeat of Belgium on Wednesday ©Sportsfile

Saturday

Group A

Croatia v Austria (12.00CET, Sozopol)
• Austria responded impressively after falling behind versus Spain on Wednesday and Croatia's Dario Bašic, at 29 the youngest coach in Bulgaria, is fully aware of the threat they will pose. Bašic's youngsters opened their campaign with a 2-0 defeat of the hosts in front of 10,640 fans in Stara Zagora – a record attendance for a U17 final tournament, excluding showpiece matches. "Austria are a very good side, they are well-organised and dangerous," said Bašic. "We know them well."

Highlights: Bulgaria 0-2 Croatia
Highlights: Bulgaria 0-2 Croatia

• Having watched his charges rally to earn a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with La Roja, Austria coach Manfred Zsak is demanding more of the same. "We want to gain points against Croatia, so we will do exactly what we did on Wednesday," he told UEFA.com. "Croatia are a very good team with lots of individual class, and they did not concede a goal in the elite round."

Bulgaria v Spain (14.00, Burgas)
• Aleksandar Dimitrov's priority after Bulgaria's midweek reverse has been to "prepare the team mentally". "The good news is that we have no injury problems," he added. "The result of the other game in the group was good for us, but everything depends on ourselves and we must concentrate on our job."

Highlights: Spain 1-1 Austria
Highlights: Spain 1-1 Austria

• Another 10,000-plus crowd is expected for Bulgaria's second game, giving Spain something else to contend with in Burgas aside from their opponents. "As hosts, Bulgaria will be supremely motivated," said Santi Denia, Spain's former Club Atlético de Madrid defender and assistant coach. "Our game plan and approach will be the same. They will look for goals and we must take advantage of that. The stadium will be behind them. I don't think we will start with the same XI."

Group B

Czech Republic v Belgium (15,00, Sozopol)
• Czech Republic coach Václav Černý's main focus has been the recovery of his players after they edged Slovenia 1-0 in temperatures pushing 26C in Sliven. "We have to replenish our energy and then we will think about what we can do with Belgium," he explained. "Belgium are strong – they're going to be tough."

Belgium's Alper Ademoglu on the balll
Belgium's Alper Ademoglu on the balll©Sportsfile

• Belgium's first-half profligacy cost them against Germany, who registered twice early in the second period for a 2-0 win. Coach Bob Browaeys's task has been to keep spirits up. "The players have to stay positive and realise it's not over – we still have two games, two chances," he said. "The Czechs play in a different style [to Germany]. During the elite and qualifying rounds they won their five matches by one goal, which means they can score at the right time and also defend well."

Slovenia v Germany (18.00, Burgas)
• Things do not get any easier for Slovenia after their day-one loss to the Czechs. Next up is an imposing and assured Germany team, "one of the favourites" for the title according to coach Igor Benedejčič. "They know how to play successfully in tournaments, but we will prepare ourselves and do our best."

• Germany coach Christian Wück must reshuffle his midfield after Niklas Dorsch returned home injured. The FC Bayern München player was replaced by Salih Özcan with 19 minutes left against Belgium. "He has a very bad injury to his lower left leg and is in a lot of pain," said Wück. "We should go into this game with confidence, but Slovenia are a strong team, on a similar level to Belgium, so it won't be easy. Wednesday was a great start because it was very important for us to begin the tournament well."

Sunday

Group C
Russia v France (15.00, Sliven)
Greece v Scotland (16.00, Sozopol)

Group D
Republic of Ireland v Italy (15.00, Stara Zagora)
Netherlands v England (19.00, Stara Zagora)

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