U21 EURO Final, Germany v Spain Preview
Last updated: June 30, 2017 by Leon Marshal
|Kick-off:||Friday 30th June, 19:45 (GMT)|
|Fixture type:||Cup final|
|Last Match||Germany U21 0-1 Spain U21|
The very best young talent in Europe will be showcased this evening as the two top-ranked sides in the EURO U21 competition go head to head in the final of the premier youth tournament. The teams have arrived at this year’s main showpiece after having triumphed in contrasting semi-final earlier this week. Spain managed to see off Italy in an action-packed encounter where a San Niguez hat-trick eventually steered them to victory, while Germany downed England in a penalty shoot-out in an epic clash reminiscent of the historic battles between the men’s sides in 1990 and 1996. With both teams high on confidence and sporting plenty of quality, particularly in the midfield, this one is sure to be a cracker.
Spain have had the perfect runup to the final after having won each of their four group matches in the prelude. They opened their campaign with an emphatic 5-0 thrashing against Macedonia before cruising through to the final stage, beating Serbia with a second-string team in the quarters and then making a spirited Italian side pay for their missed chances and a red card in the third quarter of the semi-final. The main talking about this young Spanish side is the ability of the midfield players. Barcelona’s Denis Suarez and Athletico Madrid’s Saúl Ñíguez – the latter being the tournament’s top goal scorer with five goals from just four games – are the real danger men, with Suarez possessing a deft touch and fluid passing game that has seen him slice defences wide open. The young Marco Asensio, who scored a hat-trick in the opening fixture, is also a real threat in front of goal and yet another player Germany will have to keep a close eye on.
Although Germany themselves are no mugs, they certainly have their work cut out if they are to triumph against the four-time cup winners this evening. They, too, have a classy midfield, with VfL Wolfsburg’s Maximilian Arnold, Schalke 04’s Max Meyer and Borussia Dortmund’s Mahmoud Dahoud all possessing a keen eye for space and combining nicely with a one-touch style of play that keeps defences guessing. David Selke, who has two goals in the tournament and scored against England in the semi-final, has also proven his ability to be clinical in front of goal. There’s also some real pace and creativity out wide in Bayern’s Serge Gnarby, who will make sure that that young Spanish defensive line stays switched on.
Hat-trick hero, Saul Niguez, who has long been linked with a move to Manchester United, confirmed earlier this week that he has no plans to leave his current club, Athletico Madrid.
Hertha BSC defender, Niklas Stark, is looking doubtful for this evening. He was forced to miss the semi-final against England due to injury but coach Stefan Kuntz will be hoping the young Bavarian will pass a late fitness test.
Spain have benefited from fielding a second-string side against Serbia as they head into the final with a fully fit squad. Don’t be surpised if you see an entirely unchanged starting XI from the side that beat Italy earlier this week.
Spanish coach, Albert Celades, has warned his side that “miracles don’t exist” as they prepare to face the young Germans in the final. Fully aware of the difficulty of the task at hand, he acknowledges that his players will have to work for every gain and will get bitten if they allow complacency to kick in.
|Germany (4-1-4-1):||Pollersbeck, Toljan, Jung, Kempf, Gerhardt, Haberer, Arnold, Phillip Meyer, Gnarby, Platte, Gnarby|
|Subs:||Schwäbe, Vlachodimos, Anton, Dahoud, Klünter, Kehrer, Wesier, Amiri, Öztunali, Kohr|
|Spain (4-3-3):||Arrizabalaga, Bellerín, Meré, Vallejo, Ceballos, Deulofeu, Ñíguez, Asensio, Ramírez, Jonny, Llorente, Jonny,|
|Subs:||Blanco, Pau, Gayà, Mayoral, Suárez, Merino, Willaims, Odriozola, Oyarzabal, Soler, Hernández, González|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
With the two best sides in the tournament locking horns to determine who will take home the silverware, we’re preparing ourselves for an enthralling final match this evening. It is a close one to call, with both teams possessing talent in abundance and an affinity for the big games. History is definitely on the side of the young Spaniards; their record in the tournament is impressive, to say the least, winning the competition in 1986, 1998, 2011, and 2013.
Germany, however, may be slightly better off after having being pushed all way in the semi-final against England, with team morale now high with a collective belief that they have the resolve necessary to triumph when pushed to the limit. Spain, conversely, have had things their own way up to now and may be caught slightly off guard by a fully-focused German side. It will be close, but we believe that the midfield quality in the Spanish side will prove the difference, so we’re going to opt for a narrow Spanish victory by no more than a single goal. Head over to William Hill for some of the best odds prices on the UK market.