Match: Germany U-17 vs Brazil U-17, Fifa U-17 World Cup Quarterfinal
Time: 10.30pm Sunday (SGT)/8:00pm Sunday (IST) /3.30pm Sunday (BST)
Venue: Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata
TV Info: No live coverage of the tournament (Singapore)/ Sony Network and DD Sports (India)/ Eurosport (UK)/ Fox Sports 2 (US)
Livestream: Sony LIV (India)
The FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 has already had some mouth-watering clashes but surprisingly the biggest of the lot comes two stages before the finals as heavyweights Brazil and Germany face each other in the quarter-final stage at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata today.
Brazil coach Carlos Amadeu said he'd rather forget about the senior team's loss in the 2014 Fifa World Cup by a score of 7-1, and focus more on the positive side of the game when the Samba boys won Olympic gold. His opposition counterpart Christian Wuck, too stated how the famous result won't be an added pressure to his boys.
Brazil have been playing their own distinctive style of football and haven't set a foot wrong in the tournament so far could very well have 'home advantage' given the City of Joy's love for the nation's footballing exploits.
There are tactical nuances involved also. Brazil have only conceded once till now and have looked arguably the most confident outfit, switching on and off the engine at their will. The Germans are heavily dependent on striker Jann-Fiete Arp and need to fix their porous defence.
The big-ticket Brazil-Germany FIFA U-17 World Cup quarter-final to be played on Sunday has sent the football crazy city into a tizzy prompting the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to bill this clash as "one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the tournament" and all tickets for Sunday's game were sold out well in advance.
The colossal Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan, also known as the Salt Lake Stadium which has previously played host to Argentine hotshot Lionel Messi, has seen an average attendance of over 40,000 in the games played in Kolkata. In the round of 16 tie between England and Japan, on a weekday, 53,302 spectators turned up.
Germany will be missing out on key midfield man Dennis Jastrzembski due to suspension and injury fears also loom over three of their players in Yannick Keitel, Shaverd Cetin and Nick Kuhn. The Germans have bounced back well since the 4-0 loss to Iran and with striker Jann Fiete-Arp among goals, they will be hoping to keep it up.
Elias Abouchabaka, Noah Awuku, Sahverdi Cetin, Yann Bisseck, John Yeboah are expected to for the under-17s. Usually positioned behind No. 9 Jann-Fiete Arp, Abouchabaka ghosts into the penalty areas and has already drawn comparisons with Ozil.
Undefeated in the group, Brazil have scored nine goals so far, eight of which have come from open play. An attack spearheaded by the likes of Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner with midfielder Alan acting as the architect, Brazil are very potent going forward.
For Sunday's quarter-final, Brazil might again miss regular left-back Weverson who, Amadeu said, has a back injury.
Provisional matchday squads
Germany: Plogmann, Nitzl, Hackethal, Becker, Boller, Awuku, Cetin, Majetschak, Arp, Abouchabaka, Kuhn, Klatte, Jastrzembski, Keitel, Vagnoman, Mai, Malone, Yeboah, Ngankam, Bisseck, Prinz
Brazil: G. Brazao, Wesley, Vitao, L. Halter, V. Bobsin, Weverson, Paulinho, M. Antionio, Alan, Lincoln, Helio Junio, Lucao, M. Stockl, R. Guth, L. Candido, Victor Yan, R. Nestor, Vitinho, Yuri A, Brenner, Yuri Sena
Head to Head
Germany's meeting with Brazil will be the seventh between the sides in the competition. The head-to-head reads three wins for the Brazilians, two for the Germans and a draw. Their most recent encounter came in the match for third place at Mexico 2011, with Germany winning 4-3.
Germany captain and forward Jann-Fiete Arp is the only player still in the competition to figure in the top three for both goals scored (4) and assists provided (3).