The Netherlands will play England tonight in the final of the European U17 Championship in Malta, at the Qali National Stadium, after the winner (Netherlands) and runner-up (England) in Group A beat Scotland 5-0 and Portugal 2-0 respectively in the semi-finals last Monday night, to get the chance to meet again in the final of the tournament.
Adam Armstrong – doubt for England today
In the last group game the Netherlands easily beat England 2-0, but England rested seven players for that game, as we had already qualified with two wins, and those players rested included Newcastle’s two top youngsters, goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and Adam Armstrong.
In that game Armstrong was brought on in the second half to try to rescue England – but to no avail.
However, as we reported on Monday night, Adam injured his ankle in the semi-final win against Portugal, and was taken off in the first half as a precautionary measure, and it’s said to be touch and go as whether he can start the game today.
The England coach John Peacock would love to start one of his very best players, and it was clear that England missed his threat against the Netherlands in that first half.
This is what Peacock has said today:
“It’s still ongoing. Adam has an issue with his ankle – we managed that on Monday.” “It’s not an ideal situation, but we will manage that and see how he is before the game.”
“You hope someday that these players will go on to bigger and better things.” “The World Cup is just around the corner.”
“And we have experiences of players that have come through our system and are now ready to play a part in Brazil, and I think that is what it is all about.”
“I think there are two very good teams in the final, and two attacking teams. I would expect that it will be a real good game of football.”
England have only won the European U17 Championship once, back in 2010, when Sunderland striker was the tournament’s best player when he was playing at Ipswich at the time.
But the Netherlands are a formidable side and have won two European Championships – in 2011 and 2012 – so it will be tough for England tonight.
And that’s especially true if top Newcastle youngster Adam Armstrong cannot play because of his ankle injury.
Freddie Woodman however, will definitely be starting for England in goal tonight, so Newcastle will be represented in the final.