Germany U21 vs Spain U21 preview: Spain chasing record as youngsters battle it out in Kraków for U21 title

It is set to be a game to remember in the final of the European Under-21 Championship final as Germany battle Spain.

Germany U21 vs Spain U21 preview: Spain chasing record as youngsters battle it out in Kraków for U21 title
Above: Germany training ahead of the U21 European Championships final | Photo: Getty Images/Nils Petter Nilsson

Kraków is set to host of the closely fought Under-21 European Championships final in the recent history of the competition, with Germany battling it out with Spain for the coveted title.

 

Going all the way together 

It hasn't been a stellar tournament for Stefan Kuntz's team as they just managed to scrape into the final two, but one thing they have shown is unity as a team and they seem to have that in abundance. 

Kuntz was dealt a big blow with the majority of the squad been promoted to the senior side for the Confederations Cup, and despite that they started well with comfortable victories over the Czech Republic and Denmark. 

They did suffer defeat to Italy in their final group game but had done enough to qualify and set up a tie with England in the semi-finals, but that was certainly more than an test as the tie went all the way to penalties after the 2-2 draw in extra-time. 

Young goalkeeper Julian Pollersbeck was the hero as he saved two spot kicks to set up this tie, though they look to be the underdogs Kuntz has stated that he wants to test his side against the best. 

"We said from the start we wanted to measure ourselves against the best," Kuntz told his pre-match press conference. "We've faced Italy, England and now Spain."

"It's a great challenge," the former German international stated. "We'll play as we did in the other games, stick to our philosophy, but also adapt to our opponents."

 

Looking to make history 

Spain will not only go into this clash as clear favourites but also looking to equal a bit of history, as they look to equal the record for the most U21 European Championships titles as they look to claim the fifth in their history. 

The Spanish have blown away the competition thus far having remained unbeaten, scored 12 goals and conceded two in their four matches, but they faced a tough opponent of the record title holders Italy in their semi-final. 

Atletico Madrid's Saúl Ñíguez was the man on hand to secure their place in the last two with his hat-trick against the Italians, though they are favourites coach Albert Celades states that they will have to do "something more" to claim their fifth title. 

 "I think they're great opponents," the 41-year-old admitted to the gathered press. "We have respect for Portugal and Italy who are great teams but Germany are in the final." 

"Miracles don't exist," he stated. "There is a lot of talent there and we have to do something more than we did against Portugal and Italy." 

 

Team news

Despite losing the majority of their squad to the Confederations Cup Kuntz still has some talent at his disposal, with Schalke's Max Meyer and Bayer Munich's new starlet Serge Gnabry all expected to get a place in the starting XI. 

There are some injury concerns for the German's with Davie Selke picking up a slight knock in the defeat of England and Niklas Stark missing the semi-final all together with a neck injury, but Kuntz seems to be confident that they will be available for selection in Kraków. 

Like the Germans the Spanish side is littered with senior players, with the tournament's top scorer Ñíguez expected to start and supported by Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Celades will look to continue with his 4-3-3 formation with Saul and Ansensio supported by the likes of Héctor Bellerín and Gerard Deulofeu on the wings, the only change from the win over Italy could be the inclusion of Denis Suárez to help shore up the midfield. 


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