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Germany and Israel await Duisburg decider

Published: Tuesday 9 September 2008, 3.45CET
Motti Iwanir's promising Israel side travel to meet Germany on Tuesday in Group 9, with only the winner guaranteed a place in the play-offs for next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Sweden.
by Ofer Ronen-Abels & Matthias Rötters
Germany and Israel await Duisburg decider
Players shake hands after the 2-2 draw the last time these sides met ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 9 September 2008, 3.45CET

Germany and Israel await Duisburg decider

Motti Iwanir's promising Israel side travel to meet Germany on Tuesday in Group 9, with only the winner guaranteed a place in the play-offs for next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Sweden.

Israel travel to Duisburg to meet Germany on Tuesday in an intriguing Group 9 fixture, with only the winner guaranteed a place in the play-offs for next summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Sweden.

Previous meeting
Under Guy Levy, Israel drew 2-2 with Germany in Tel-Aviv last October and after comfortable victories for both sides on Friday they go into an absorbing finale level atop the section on 16 points. "It will be a really tough match," said Germany coach Dieter Eilts, who is gunning for three points even though his side will progress with a draw providing it is not 3-3 or higher. "We want to win and we are going to show this from the first minute. To take risks would be careless but we showed on Friday that we are in good form."

'Different story'
Germany beat the Republic of Ireland 3-0 to set up the Group 9 decider thanks in significant part to a sterling goalscoring debut from FC Bayern München prodigy Toni Kroos. Israel, meanwhile, put five past Luxembourg, though Motti Iwanir is aware that Germany will provide a sterner test. "The match against Germany will be a totally different story - it will be in a much better stadium and against a completely different standard of opposition," said the Israel coach. "We have to be fearless and shouldn't worry ourselves thinking about any big names. The group of players here are very good and we should be confident and believe in our ability."

'Be fearless'
Currently among the highest-ranked second-placed sides in the ten qualifying groups, Israel could progress as one of the four best runners-up with a draw or a defeat, but having qualified for the finals in the Netherlands last year, Eilts is aware that they are a real force at this level. "They have a very experienced, technically proficient team," said the Germany coach, who will be without injured pair Ashkan Dejagah and Aaron Hunt. "Some of their players took part at the U21 European Championship in 2007 and gained some valuable experiences." Yuval Shpungin, Sheran Yeini and Toto Tamuz are among them while 17 year-old FC Barcelona striker Lior Asulin is certainly one to watch. The same could apply to the Israel team as a whole.

Last updated: 09/09/08 19.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2009/matches/round=15084/match=300217/prematch/preview/index.html#germany+israel+await+duisburg+decider

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