The two heavyweights meet in a mouthwatering contest in Kolkata.
With both teams producing a series of impressive wins in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017, the first semi-final of the tournament is just hours away. South American giants Brazil booked their berth after defeating Germany, while their opponents England thrashed the USA on Sunday as they progressed from the quarterfinal. In what is a battle of superpowers, the Europeans are looking forward to their second youth World Cup title, wheile Brazil also seem adamant on being crowned the winners.
The Brazilians have already displayed their worth in the tournament this year, defeating all their opponents from the group stage until now. The Latin American nation has also shown glimpses of future world-beaters amongst their ranks, some of whom might be doubtful against England after a tiring win against the Germans.
Carlos Amadeu has displayed an astute rotation policy so far in the tournament, which has produced only positive results for his side. The Brazilian gaffer admitted the quarterfinal game took a toll on his players, both ‘mentally and physically’, which might lead to some changes in the starting lineup against England.
The English, on the other hand, have delivered on an extremely high note since they started their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign earlier this month. The Europeans have displayed an impressive interchanging of formations and tactics in their gameplay, a phenomenon that is expected to keep the Latin Americans in check in the game on Wednesday.
The English will be without arguably their best player, Jadon Sancho, against the Brazilian juggernaut but the side’s head coach Steve Cooper has already made it clear he can make do just fine with what he has at his disposal. Apart from Sancho, the English will also miss Connor Gallagher against the Brazilians with Jonathan Panzo and Daniel Loader are both at risk of missing the final if booked.
Head to Head
This is the first meeting between the sides at U-17 level.
MAN TO WATCH
Paulinho-Brazil: A natural crowd puller, the Brazilian forward showed more than glimpses of possible greatness in his game against Germany. With an instinct in front of the goal, Paulinho created a ruckus in the German defence in his last game. Although, he could not find the back of the net until the second half due to the performance of the German custodian.
Full Highlights: Brazil 2-1 Germany
The youngster has immense pace which compliments his movement in attack, both on and off the ball, beautifully. One of the few players of his generation to do so, Paulinho performs equally with both his feet, which will help him seal his side a place in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Rhian Brewster-England: One of the fiercest strikers in the entire tournament, the Liverpool youngster have certainly caught the eye of many fans and pundits alike. The English striker scored a hat-trick in his last game against the USA, which makes him the main target for the Brazilian defenders to contend with.
Full Highlights: England 4-1 USA
The 17-year-old offers physicality upfront, as well as pace and dribbling skills that make him one of the most complete strikers of his age in the world. Although, despite all his skills and abilities, the youngster tends to get caught in the offside trap often, which could limit his performance against an intelligent Brazilian side on Wednesday.
Brazil U-17: Gabriel Brazao, Wesley, Guth, Halter, Weverson, Bobsin, Nestor, Antonio, Paulinho, Brenner, Lincoln.
England U-17: Anderson (GK), McEachran, Guehi, Panzo, Foden, Kirby, Brewster, Hudson-Odoi, Latibeaudiere(C), Steven Sessegnon, Gomes.
The match will be telecast LIVE at the Sony Network, Sony LIV and Jio TV at 17:00 hours IST.