Showtime in Belarus as Women's U17 finals begin

Hosts Belarus play fellow newcomers Serbia while holders Spain face a heavyweight duel with Germany – making for a busy opening day of WU17 EURO action in Minsk and beyond.

Showtime in Belarus as Women's U17 finals begin
Showtime in Belarus as Women's U17 finals begin ©Sportsfile

Fixture schedule
Players to watch

Group A
 Belarus v Serbia (16.00 local*/15.00CET); Traktor Stadium, Minsk
This is the Belarusians' WU17 EURO finals debut and coach Irina Bulygina will want to better her country's ultimately point-less WU19 efforts when they hosted that tournament in 2009. Serbia, meanwhile, are another newcomer to the championship's climactic stage, and though here as best runners-up, they possess a possible match winner in Allegra Poljak, joint-leading scorer in the elite round with four goals.

England v Norway (16.30 local*); Torpedo Stadium, Zhodino
England must handle suspensions to Hannah Cain and Georgia Stanway – their nine-goal overall joint-top scorer in qualification – yet have an impressive pedigree in the competition as one of only three ever-presents since the finals became an eight-team event in 2013/14. Norway, who were also in contention in Iceland last summer, appear to be well-stocked with attacking potential and creativity for what promises to be an evenly-matched contest.

The Group A coaches with the trophy in Minsk
The Group A coaches with the trophy in Minsk©Sportsfile

Group B
 Italy v Czech Republic (16.30 local*); Gorodskoi Stadium, Borisov
Italy coach Rita Guarino believes her side came of age during qualifying – when they twice came from behind to claim a decisive draw with Finland. The 2013/14 semi-finalists now step into the unknown against the championship's third new face – namely, the first Czech team to contest a Women's EURO of any category. As hosts of next summer's finals, the Czechs will be eager to prove their worth.

Germany v Spain (16.30 local*); City Stadium, Slutsk
THE heavyweight contest of this final tournament: Germany have won four and qualified for eight of the nine championships played from 2008 onwards; title-holding Spain are three-time winners, with seven finals appearances now to their name. The main change from 12 months ago – when the Iberian side thrashed the Germans 4-0 on the second group matchday – is the presence of María Antonia Is on the Spanish bench. Germany's Janina Minge serves a one-game ban.

*Belarusian time one hour ahead of CET