FIFA U17 World Cup final: England vs Spain - Who has the head-to-head advantage ahead of title clash
There is very little between the two teams which suggests we are in for a cracker in tomorrow's FIFA U17 World Cup final.
The 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup final is almost upon us, as Spain and England clash against each other for the second time this calendar year. Both these giants of European football have won a senior World Cup each, but neither has been able to go the distance at the FIFA U17 World Cup. Hence, the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup final will see a new champion being crowned tomorrow at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium.
Given both England and Spain are from Europe, fixtures between the two countries have been far more frequent than, say, an England vs Japan game. The U17 sides of England and Spain have squared off to each other numerous times in the past but there has been barely anything to choose between the two teams over the years.
The composition of U17 national teams change pretty frequently owing to the age caps that are applicable at youth tournaments, but the latest clash between England U17 and Spain U17 featured the same core group of players that will also play in the FIFA U17 World Cup final tomorrow.
During the last meeting between England U17s and Spain U17s at the U17 Euro 2017 final, both teams failed to outscore each other as the game went to a penalty shootout, in which the Spaniards emerged victorious. That game aside, there have been five other England U17 vs Spain U17 games over the years, the results of which are as follows:
May 2010: England U17s 2-1 Spain U17s, Euro U17
March 2011: England U17s 2-1 Spain U17s, Euro U17
March 2012: Spain U17s 4-0 England U17s, Euro U17
May 2015: England U17s 0-0 Spain U17s (5-3 pens), Euro U17
May 2016: Spain U17s 1-0 England U17s, Euro U17
May 2017: Spain U17s 2-2 England U17s (4-1 pens), Euro U17
The two teams have played each other six times in the past - all at the U17 Euros - and registered two wins, two draws and two defeats apiece. The honours are even in the draws as well; England registering a 5-3 penalty shootout win at the 2015 U17 Euros and Spain winning the U17 Euros after getting the better of their English counterparts 4-1 in the shootout earlier this year in May.
There is nothing at all to choose between the two sides if we pick up the history book and there is nothing to suggest that one team is the favourite over the other in tomorrow's clash. If England have Rhian Brewster, Spain have got their own goal machine in captain Abel Ruiz.
Tomorrow's title clash promises to be a tasty affair and will finally decide the head-to-head record between the two teams. Who will have the last laugh in the final? We will only come to know once the ball starts rolling at 8 pm at the Salt Lake Stadium tomorrow.