Oleksandr Petrakov: “Our group in the Euro qualification looks like an elite round quartet”

Head coach of U-17 Ukraine national team Oleksandr Petrakov is expecting a difficult tournament.

The Ukrainian National Team (players not older than 2003) has started work in preparation for the Euro 2020 qualifying matches (U-17). Oleksandr Petrakov, the manager of blue and yellow, told about the upcoming competitions that will take place in Portugal.

- Alexander Vasilyevich, or all the strongest players you were able to request a collection this time?

- Unfortunately no. Our main goalkeeper Timur Puzankov was injured and could not recover. Also injured was Anton Bol, who will hit the field in the spring.

- Describe future rivals. The first game of blue and yellow will be played against Georgia ...

- This is a very strong opponent. At this age, Georgians are making a big bet. The team has been working together for several years. This academy is funded in half by UEFA with the Georgian Federation. They are played, technical. So it will be very difficult to deal with this opponent.

- Then your wardens are waiting for a meeting with Albania.

- Interesting team. Albanians are progressing. The vast majority of collections perform in the lower divisions of the Italian Championship, so they cannot be weak a priori.

- And finally ...

- Portugal, I think, once again no need to represent - not to mention that she is the host of the tournament. Our qualification group reminds me of a quartet of elite rounds. Therefore, it will be very interesting to test your strength, and my team understands it well.

- Recent matches, tournaments give you cause for optimism?

- This will be shown by the qualifying matches themselves, as in the last two friendly matches I have not been able to see the full potential of my team. First, the national team of Ukraine was not the optimal composition, and secondly, the opponent in the face of the Armenian team was not the highest level.

- The main thing is not to win the group, but to go to the next round?

- Of course, we want to get to the elite round, and as for a specific place, we will discuss it within the team. You don't want to say anything specific right now.

- Out of 13 groups 10 have already completed the competition. There are sensations?

- No. Everyone who had to get into the elite round did so.

In the Euro 2020 Qualifying Round (U-17) Ukraine will play with Georgia (November 13), Albania (16th) and Portugal (19th). The elite round will feature the two strongest teams in each of the 13 groups and the four best teams to take third place (as a result of meetings with two leaders of their group). The matches of this stage will take place in March 2020.

In the elite round, all participants will be divided into eight groups. The winners of the groups and the seven best second teams (based on the results of the first and third teams of their group) will reach the final stage, where they will join the host of Euro - Estonia. The final tournament will take place in May 2020.

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