Netherlands U17 - England U17: Young Lions could seal place in knockout stage with victory over 2014 finalists
Netherlands U17 vs England U17 Match Preview

John Peacock will look to seal a place in the U17 European Championship quarter-finals with a victory over the Netherlands in his 100th UEFA match in charge of England U17.

The Young Lions are the holders of the trophy having won it in the 2014 competition, their second competition victory, but they had to overcome the Orange in the final to lift it 12 months ago.

Peacock's side beat Italy in a surprisingly dull encounter against Italy on Thursday evening through a Marcus Edwards second half goal. Coming into Bulgaria, England made a statement of intent to retain the trophy. With an 100% record in the qualifiers, England comprehensively beat Macedonia, France and Cyprus before countinuing brilliant form in the elite round with wins over Norway, Slovenia and Romania.

The England U17 manager was very pleased with his side's performance, "They were very disciplined and I was delighted with them from the start to finish,"

"We pretty much controlled the game throughout. I thought we got it right tactically, everyone knew their jobs and carried them out to a high standard."

Marcus Edwards celebrates his winner - Italy (via UEFA.com)

The Netherlands couldn't match England's victory over Italy with a win over the Republic of Ireland, instead settling for a 0-0 draw and thus sitting two points below their English counterparts. They will be looking to get all three points this time knowing that failing to win make life hard in terms of getting into the knockouts. The Orange won the competition in consective years, 2010 and 2011, to announce themselves on the youth stage as they also made the senior World Cup final.

Maarten Steklenberg's side started qualifying off brilliantly, winning all three games but failed to carry it on into the Elite Round. They beat Georgia but could only manage draws against Northern Ireland and Belgium.

It is only 12 months since the sides met in this tournament in the final and England won it in dramatic style, on penalties.

The Jong Orange had to come back from a Dominic Solanke goal within the first half but after Jari Schuurman's volley equalised things they held out against a threatening England until penalties.

Yet England earned the title of Champions by thoroughly thrashing Holland on penalties, winning 4-1 after Freddie Woodman saved Van der Voort's opening spot kick. John Peacock revealed they had been practicing their penalties after he lifted the trophy; "We've been practising penalties for the last two weeks and we've put in a few hours."

Penalties won't be needed on Sunday in the Group D game but it is still likely to be a tight affair.

Yet when these sides last met, in a friendly, it was far from tight. Without so much as a wimper or a consolation goal, the Jong Orange were utterly humiliated by England as they conceded 7 in February in Portugal.

Maarten Steklenberg says it means nothing though, "That result means nothing. England had a different team with them and it was a game where all the balls fell for us, unlike on Thursday when we almost had to dribble it into the goal. England always have a good structure, John always organises his teams very well and they will always have individual quality."

In the last 6 meetings between these sides, England have come out on top in 4 of them but including one victory on penalties. Peacock's side have scored 11 goals to the Netherlands 4 in these past six games.

This is Peacock's 100th UEFA match in charge of England U17, a stunning achievement which has brought him much success since taking charge in 2002. In all games in any competition, Peacock has won 132 matches out of 224.

He said, "The next game is always the most important one. What's important on Sunday is that we try to qualify for the quarter-finals. That would be special. It's nice to reach the milestone, but I don't think I'll be reaching the 200 mark!"

PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR

Netherlands

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Signed by Manchester United last summer, Fosu-Mensah is one of the brightest youth team players at the club which is a testament to his potential and quality. He captains the Jong Orange side and will be key if he can dominate the defence as usual.

England

Danny Collinge

Another centre-back but this time he's English and playing abroad. The Stuttgart defender is organised, like the Germands, and marks his authority on most forwards he's faced.

SQUAD

Netherlands

Goalkeepers
1 Justin Bijlow
16 Thijmen Nijhuis

Defenders
2 Giovanni Troupée
3 Timothy Fosu-Mensah
4 Mats Knoester
5 Rick van Drongelen
8 Carel Eiting
13 Sherel Floranus
14 Matthijs de Ligt

Midfielders
6 Reda Boultam
10 Teun Bijleveld
12 Dani De Wit
15 Mink Peeters

Forwards
7 Rashaan Fernandes
9 Nigel Robertha
11 Javairo Dilrosun
17 Jay-Roy Grot
18 Donyell Malen

England

  • Goalkeepers
  • 1 Paul Woolston
  • 13 William Huffer

Defenders
2 James Yates
3 Jay Dasilva
5 Reece Oxford
6 Danny Collinge
12 Adetayo Edun
15 Easah Suliman

Midfielders
4 Tom Davies
7 Nathan Holland
8 Daniel Wright
10 Marcus Edwards
14 Trent Arnold
18 Herbie Kane

Forwards
9 Ike Ugbo
11 Chris Willock
16 Stephy Mavididi
17 Layton Ndukwu

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