England’s face fierce rivals in U21 semi-final encounter against Germany?
England U-21 v Germany U-21 Tychy Stadium – Tychy | KO 5pm – Sky Sports
The road to Poland
England topped Group 9 with six wins and a two draws, conceding just three goals.
Germany took a complete sweep in Group 8 with 10 wins.
England U-21s are getting ready to play in their ninth U-21 semi-final and are looking to emulate the recent success of the England U-20s. Germany stand in their way for a chance to reach the final to play either Spain or Italy. England won this competition in 1982 and retained it in 1984. Germany won the competition in 2009 beating England 4-0. Arsenal’s Mesut Özil was on target on that occasion.
Much has been made of statistics ahead of England’s semi-final clash, but is too much being made of those numbers?
What the numbers are saying
Germany’s numbers look more impressive on paper with 693 top-flight appearances to that of England’s at 537.
England have 194 combined caps at U-21 level compared to Germany’s 148.
The current England U-21 side have earned five senior caps; Arsenal’s Calum Chambers has three, Southampton’s James Ward- Prowse and Nathon Redmond have one each.
Germany’s U-21s can boast eight full caps; Wolfsburg’s Yannick Gerhardt and Maximilian Arnold with one cap each, Schalke’s highly rated Max Meyer has won four senior caps and Bayern Munich’s attacking midfielder Serge Gnabry has two caps to his name.
The previous 10 matches have ended in four wins for England and four draws.
England come into this game on the back of a 3-0 win against hosts Poland with goals coming from Leicester City’s Demarai Gray, Norwich City’s Jacob Murphy and an 82nd minute penalty from Chelsea’s Lewis Baker.
Germany were beaten 1-0 by Italy, Fiorentina’s Federico Bernardeschi with the winning goal.
There’s always plenty of history when it comes to England versus Germany. The German U-21 head coach Stefan Kuntz scored against England at Wembley in EURO 96, a competition that Germany went on to win. This fixture is a repeat of the 1982 final, which England won 5-4 over two legs. The German side consisted of Rudi Völler and Pierre Litbarski.
England are sweating on the fitness of Nathan Redmond and Nathaniel Chalobah. Aidy Boothroyd’s side should have plenty of confidence going into tonight’s game, they haven’t been shy in front of goal. Gray’s effort from outside the box against Poland is evidence that the young Lions are willing to take their chances. Germany have some talented players but in the game against Italy they looked fragile at the back. England should be looking to get forward in numbers and exploit the German defence as they did against Poland. There is so much to play for and tonight’s fixture promises to be a good encounter.
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