Neither the Netherlands nor Germany have appeared in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship since last winning the title and each will be eager to make a positive start when they meet at the HaMoshava Stadium in Petah Tikva when Group B gets under way.
How they qualified
• The Netherlands won their first three qualifiers but then took only a point from their next two, both against Scotland. Fourteen goals for and just one against in their final three outings secured first place in Group 10, however – six points clear of Scotland – before two 2-0 wins against Slovakia in the play-offs.
• Germany recorded nine wins and a draw – 4-4 away at second-placed Bosnia and Herzegovina in their final game – to finish eight points clear at the top of Group 1, scoring 39 goals and conceding nine. They then overcame Switzerland in the play-offs, drawing 1-1 at home but winning 3-1 away; their 43 goals scored was eight more than the next highest total, Spain's 35.
• This will be only the teams' fifth competitive meeting at U21 level and their first in almost 25 years. They were first paired together in qualifying for the 1988 tournament when the Netherlands came out on top against West Germany, winning the first game in Venlo 3-1 in April 1987 before a 2-0 away victory in Munster four months later. Those wins helped the Jong Oranje finish top of Group 8 with West Germany eliminated in third place; the Netherlands went on to lose to Greece in the two-legged semi-finals.
• West Germany quickly turned the tables, recording home and away victories in qualifying for the 1990 finals. Oliver Bierhoff and Steffen Effenberg scored in a 2-0 home win in Augsburg on 18 October 1988; Marcel Witeczek got the only goal of the Venlo return the following April. West Germany finished top of Group 4 with the Netherlands third; Germany lost in the next round, however, going down 3-2 on aggregate to the Soviet Union in the quarter-finals.
• Although they have not played competitively since that 1989 fixture, the teams have been regular friendly opponents and last met in Sittard on 25 March 2011. Visitors Germany ran out 3-1 winners, their goals coming from Pierre-Michel Lasogga (27), Sebastian Rudy (46) and Lewis Holtby (64) with Género Zeefuik (45+3) getting the Netherlands' sole reply.
• The teams were:
Netherlands: Padt (Zoedt 46), Evers, Bruma, Nuytinck (Ramsteijn 46), Blind (Nelom 85), Clasie (Nijholt 55), Fer, Vejinovic (Ebecilio 55), Narsingh, Zeefuik, Cabral (Kieftenbeld 75).
Germany: Baumann, Radjabali-Fardi (Ostrzolek 22), Jantschke, Neumann, Kirchhoff, Vogt, Rudy (Hornschuh 83), Vukcevic (Schindler 90), Holtby (Jung 90), Mlapa (Didavi 72), Lasogga (Sukuta-Pasu 72).
• The Netherlands were 4-0 away winners in Ahlen on 27 March 2009 while the teams played out a pair of 2-2 draws in 2006. Germany came out on top in the sides' first meeting of the 21st century, winning 4-1 on 19 November 2002 with Kevin Kuranyi scoring twice and Giuseppe Gemiti and Thomas Hitzlsperger also on target in Aachen; Arjen Robben got the visitors' goal.
• The Netherlands are in the finals for the first time since 2007, when they claimed a second successive title on home soil with a 4-1 final defeat of Serbia in Groningen. They had lifted the trophy for the first time with a 3-0 defeat of Ukraine in Portugal 12 months previously.
• The Jong Oranje's only previous appearances in the final tournament came in 1998, when they lost to Norway in the third-place play-off, and 2000, when they failed to survive the group stage. They were also semi-finalists in 1988 and reached the last eight four years later.
• Germany have also not featured in the final tournament since lifting the trophy, in their case in Sweden in 2009 where England were defeated 4-0 in the final in Malmo. That is Germany's sole U21 triumph, although as West Germany they were runners-up to England in 1982.
• Germany were eliminated in the group stage of the 2004 and 2006 finals – hosting the former edition – and lost in the quarter-finals in 1990, 1992, 1996 and 1998.
• Netherlands coach Cor Pot was technical director at SG Dynamo Dresden in 2000/01.
• Luuk de Jong moved to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach in summer 2012 while Jeffrey Bruma has been on loan at Hamburger SV from Chelsea FC since August 2011. His team-mates at Hamburg include Maximilian Beister.
• Marco van Ginkel made his senior Netherlands debut in a goalless friendly draw against Germany on 14 November at the Amsterdam ArenA. Bruno Martins Indi, Ricardo van Rhijn and Stefan de Vrij were also in the home team with Holtby, İlkay Gündoğan and Julian Draxler featuring for the visitors.
• Georginio Wijnaldum won his second cap for the senior Netherlands side in a 3-0 defeat by Germany in Hamburg on 15 November 2011.
• Van Rhijn and Daley Blind were in the AFC Ajax side that lost 1-0 at Gündoğan's Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 18 September 2012, Moritz Leitner coming on as a late substitute. Van Rhijn, Blind and Gündoğan all featured in Dortmund's 4-1 win in Amsterdam on 21 November.
• On 22 November 2012, Leroy Fer and Luc Castaignos came off the bench as FC Twente drew 0-0 at Hannover 96 in the UEFA Europa League group stage, Konstantin Rausch coming on for the home side. Castaignos and Rausch had both played 90 minutes of the 2-2 draw in Enschede on 20 September.
• Fer and Ola John were in the Twente side beaten by FC Schalke 04 in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 16. Draxler and Christoph Moritz were substitutes in Twente's 1-0 home win in the first leg, Draxler and Holtby starting and Moritz again coming on in the return, won 4-1 by the German club.
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