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2023 Women's Under-17 EURO semi-final preview: France vs Switzerland, Spain vs England

Tuesday's semi-finals in Tallinn match France with Switzerland before four-time winners Spain take on England.

Some players to watch on Tuesday: France's Mélinda Mendy, Switzerland's Iman Beney, Spain's Vicky López and England's Ava Baker
Some players to watch on Tuesday: France's Mélinda Mendy, Switzerland's Iman Beney, Spain's Vicky López and England's Ava Baker UEFA via Sportsfile

The UEFA European Women's Under-17 Championship semi-finals are in Tallinn on Tuesday with France, Switzerland, Spain and England all in contention to succeed Germany as title holders. We preview the action in Estonia.

Meet the semi-finalists

Knockout fixtures

Semi-finals: Tuesday

France vs Switzerland (16:00, Kadriorg Stadium, Tallinn)
Spain vs England (18:00, Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn)

Final: Friday

Spain/England vs France/Switzerland (18:00, Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn)

All times CET, local time is one hour ahead

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Seven-time semi-finalists and four-time finalists France are seeking their first WU17 EURO title, their only championship at this level coming in the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. They qualified for that by reaching their last EURO final to date, beating Switzerland 5-1 in the semis 11 years ago.

Highlights: Poland 0-3 France

Switzerland actually beat France 2-1 this season in their opening round 1 game in Italy to eventually top that group. In the group stage in Estonia, however, France claimed first place in their section, beating both Sweden and Poland 3-0 before holding England to a 1-1 draw despite resting several key players with a semi-final already assured.

By contrast, after winning their opener 4-0 against hosts Estonia, Switzerland lost 3-0 to Spain. That meant Switzerland had to beat holders Germany at Kadriorg Stadium, no mean feat against a nation that had never gone out in the group stage of a WU17 EURO or World Cup.

But Iman Beney put Switzerland ahead and after an equaliser on the hour, captain Noemi Ivelj converted a 71st-minute penalty to spark wild celebrations and ensure a return to the stadium to face France. Chiara Wallin is suspended for Switzerland after two bookings in the group stage.

Highlights: Switzerland 2-1 Germany
  • Taeryne Job and Mélinda Mendy both played in the semi-finals a year ago as France lost 1-0 to Germany.
  • Switzerland beat Germany in the 2015 semi-finals. That was the last time Germany had failed to reach the final before their exit on Saturday.
Where to watch: TV/streams
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Spain were pipped in last year's final by Germany on penalties but little has gone wrong for them since. That squad travelled to India for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup and retained their global title, while this season's selection have won every game in their EURO campaign. Those victories include a 2-0 group stage triumph over Germany and, at Lilleküla Stadium, wins against Switzerland (3-0, with first place assured and the squad rotated) and Estonia (6-0).

Highlights: Germany 0-2 Spain

Both those games at Estonia's national stadium featured hat-tricks, respectively by Cris Redondo and Marisa, while against Germany there were two goals by Vicky López, who was already a key player at last season's EURO and won the Golden Ball at the World Cup, at which Ainhoa Alguacil and Cristina Librán also featured.

England, who defeated Estonia 3-0 in their round 1 contest at Lilleküla Stadium in October, also progressed with a game to spare here by defeating Poland 2-1 and Sweden 3-1, but the 1-1 draw with France meant they finished second in Group B on goal difference. In that game, though, Mo Marley – coaching England here in the absence of Natalie Henderson – was able to rest some usual starters including Michelle Agyemang, who is top scorer at the finals on four goals after doubles against Poland and Sweden.

Highlights: Sweden 1-3 England
  • Spain are in their ninth straight semi-final, last missing out in 2011/12, and hope to reach a tenth final, one ahead of the record they jointly hold with Germany.
  • England have lost all four previous semi-finals, including to Spain in Burton-upon-Trent in 2013/14.