Pearce's confidence points way for Germany showdown

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The Independent Football

Showing the chutzpah of a teenager, Krystian Pearce looked ahead to tomorrow's Under-17 World Cup quarter-final against Germany in Goyang City, South Korea, and said: "I was hoping we would face them. I'm looking forward to it. It's England v Germany – that's just one of those great games. We should be able to beat them."

Pearce, a centre-half with Birmingham City, scored England's second goal in their 3-1 second-round defeat of Syria. The scoreline was flattering; England were far less composed than they had been in beating Brazil to top their group. That may be ascribed to being surprised at Syria's ability, while fazed by the prospect of losing to them. Against Germany they can relax. Losing would be disappointing but not embarrassing. In such circumstances John Peacock's talented youngsters may be able to produce their best.

This is the 12th edition of the Under-17 World Cup and the first time England have qualified for the finals. The England team that started against Syria included two players from each of Arsenal, Chelsea and Middlesbrough, and one apiece from Manchester United, West Ham and Birmingham. The match kicks off at 11am UK time. The winners will meet Argentina or Nigeria in the semi-final on Thursday with the final next Sunday.

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