The English are well-armed to beat the Spanish Armada this time AROUND and avenge their loss in the European U-17 Final earlier this year.
As the final of the first FIFA tournament organized in the country approaches, both the finalists are daring to get a go at each other. An iconic replay of the UEFA European U-17 Championship 2017 final couple of months ago, where Spain defeated England on penalties, will face their European counterparts once again, only to be crowned as the world champions this time. However, with changing times and a comparative dip in the Spanish performances have helped England to be counted as the favourites of the game. Here is a simple insight into five reasons why England might overcome the Spanish on Saturday and win the U-17 World Cup in the process.
Since the beginning of their FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 campaign, England has displayed a jam-packed midfield. Under the tactical brilliance of head coach Steven Cooper, George McEachran, the Chelsea FC youngster has flourished exponentially which have led him to become nothing sort of a midfield general under their ranks. Apart from McEachran, other members of the squad such as Tashan Oakley-Boothe, Nya Kirby and Morgan Gibbs White have all stepped up contributing their services which have ensured a steady supply line, intercepting opponent counter attacks as well as rotation of the ball. However, the revelation of the side until this stage have been Philip Foden, who have already caught the eyes of the fans and pundits worldwide with his brilliant performances since the group stages.
Rated highly by Josep Guardiola, the Manchester City player have already established himself as arguably the best attacking midfielder of the tournament and will be one of the deciding factors in the final. The adaptability of these youngsters to different approaches of the game has also set them apart from the rest of the teams, resulting them securing their first-ever appearance in the final of the ongoing junior World Cup.
Curtis Anderson: The next David Seaman in the making?
Curtis Anderson is the goalkeeper that England must nurture for the future
Despite all the heroics in the vanguard and in the middle of the park, the English have been compromised several times in the tournament by engaging high line. With this particular gameplay in mind, Curtis Anderson, the England custodian have kept the English bars safe from the opposition counters throughout the tournament. The 17-year-old has made five appearances for the Three Lions in this World Cup, conceding four goals.
His skill set allows him to roam free outside the final third whenever his side plays a high line. However, what makes his gameplay similar to the English great David Seaman is his interception of the opposition players in dangerous close counters and his acrobatic skills, which have helped him contributing to England’s overall progress in the competition.
Rusty Spanish Rearguard
Five. Five is the numbers of goals the European champions have conceded in six matches in their FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 campaign until now. The Spanish have performed in a very unruly manner in this World Cup so far, as their defensive display often put their attacks in shadow. Gaps between their centre-back partnership as well as miscommunication between their overlapping side backs with the wingers often led to the vulnerability in their own half. The young La Roja defenders, surprisingly, have earned a reputation of one of the laziest in the tournament, which could hurt them fatally against a very confident and pacy English side on Saturday.
Steven Cooper, the England head coach has used several players in the wide areas, all of whom have put up impressive performances in the ongoing U-17 World Cup. Despite missing Jadon Sancho, who was awarded the Golden Player in the UEFA European U-17 Championship earlier this year, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Conor Gallagher have deputized in the job brilliantly, which have resulted in the Three Lions securing a final berth in the tournament. Callum Hudson-Odoi, the Chelsea youngster has shown glimpses of a future superstar on the right side of the pitch as his daring runs have produced either goals or assists to help his team.
A Home Away From Home
Having players from Premier League clubs has created a bond between the English contingent and the Indian crowd
Since the beginning of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, the Three Lions have enjoyed an overwhelming crowd support in Kolkata. Dubbed as the Mecca of Indian Football, the spectators in Kolkata have made it possible for the English visitors to the city feel at home, which was evident in the comparatively difficult matches for England such as against Japan and Iraq. Impressed by the huge crowd support, the England head coach Steven Cooper also thanked the audience present in the stands previously and revealed the fans will play a big part on the road to World Cup glory for his side. With everything being said, the final is being expected to become a fortress for the English side, which will surely affect the visiting Spanish side.