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Germany seek to improve record against Spain

Published: Saturday 8 June 2013, 8.30CET
Germany have won only one of their five previous competitive fixtures against Spain and will need to improve on that record in Netanya after losing their opening Group B game.
Germany seek to improve record against Spain
Tony Jantschke and Lewis Holtby react to Germany's late loss to the Netherlands ©Sportsfile

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Published: Saturday 8 June 2013, 8.30CET

Germany seek to improve record against Spain

Germany have won only one of their five previous competitive fixtures against Spain and will need to improve on that record in Netanya after losing their opening Group B game.

Spain have largely held the upper hand in their UEFA European Under-21 Championship encounters with Germany and will hope the pattern continues when the teams meet for the sixth time in the competition at the Netanya Stadium.

• Germany recovered from a two-goal half-time deficit to draw level at 2-2 with the Netherlands on matchday one. However, they ultimately lost out to Leroy Fer's 90th-minute header. Spain struck late themselves, securing a 1-0 win against Russia courtesy of Álvaro Morata's goal with eight minutes left.

Previous meetings
• The countries last met in the group stage of the 2009 finals in Sweden, when they played out a goalless draw in Gothenburg on matchday one. While Germany went on to finish second in Group B and eventually claimed the title, Spain were third in the section and eliminated.

• The teams at the Gamla Ullevi on 15 June 2009 were:
Spain: Asenjo, Sergio Sánchez, Chico, Torrejón, Monreal, Javi Martínez, García, Sisi (Capel 70), Granero (León 87), Jurado, Bojan (Xisco 82).
Germany: Neuer, Beck, Höwedes, Boateng, Boenisch (Schmelzer 38), Khedira, Aogo, Castro (Ebert 85), Marin (Ben-Hatira 70), Özil, Dejagah.

• That was the sides' first competitive fixture since they were paired together in qualifying for the 1994 finals when Spain won both games. On 15 December 1992 Heiko Herrlich gave Germany a 37th-minute lead in Osnabruck, but second-half goals from Oscar García (48) and Thomas Christiansen (65) took the points to Spain.

• It was a similar story in the reverse fixture in Cordoba on 14 December 1993, where Christian Nerlinger put the visitors in front in the 14th minute. Two goals from Julen Guerrero (55, 79) turned the match around, and Antonio Acosta quickly added a third (80) to seal Spain's win. Spain duly went into the quarter-finals, where they overcame Greece, but ultimately had to settle for third place having lost to Portugal in the last four.

• West Germany lost the first leg of their 1982 quarter-final 1-0 to Spain in Santa Cruz de Tenerife but prevailed 2-0 in the Augsburg return, their sole competitive success against the Spanish. The Soviet Union were then defeated in the two-legged semi-finals but West Germany lost 5-4 on aggregate to England in the final.

• Between their 1993 and 2009 competitive meetings the teams met in three friendlies, beginning with a goalless draw in San Fernando in 1995. Germany were 3-1 winners in Celle five years later but Spain turned the tables in Sa Pobla in the last such fixture in 2003, when goals from Albert Riera and José Antonio Reyes helped them to a 3-1 victory.

Match background
• Germany failed to qualify for Denmark last time out having lifting the trophy 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 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.

• Spain are in the finals for the third successive edition and will be seeking to repeat their feats of two years ago, when they claimed a third European U21 crown with a 2-0 defeat of Switzerland in Aarhus, Denmark. Spain had previously triumphed in 1986 and 1998, while they were runners-up in 1984 and 1996 and third in 1994 and 2000. They failed to make it beyond the group stage in 2009, however, on what was their first finals appearance in nine years.

Team ties
• Coach Julen Lopetegui was an unused substitute as Spain drew 1-1 against Germany in Chicago at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

• Iker Muniain's Athletic Club eliminated an FC Schalke 04 side including Lewis Holtby in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Muniain scored in Athletic's 4-2 first-leg victory; Christoph Moritz was an unused subsitute in both matches. 

• Cristian Tello put two goals past Bernd Leno as FC Barcelona overwhelmed Bayer 04 Leverkusen 7-1 on 7 March 2012 – Tello's UEFA Champions League debut – as Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in a match in the competition. Marc Muniesa came on midway through the second half.

• Leno also featured in the first leg, won 3-1 by Barça. Thiago Alcántara came on in the second half while Marc Bartra remained on the bench.

• Leno's Leverkusen were 2-1 home winners against a Valencia CF side who brought on Sergio Canales midway through the second period of their UEFA Champions League group game on 19 October 2011.

• Koke was in the Atlético side that ousted Hannover 96 in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, winning both matches 2-1.

Germany news
• Peniel Mlapa was taken off before half-time of Germany's 3-2 defeat by the Netherlands on Thursday because of a hamstring injury and is out of the tournament.

• Kevin Volland impressed after coming on to replace Mlapa and could be in line to start.

• Coach Rainer Adrion has not ruled out changes to his team against Spain, saying "a player who is on the bench is not necessarily worse than the one who started".

• Germany cancelled their planned Friday evening training session and instead underwent a gentle recovery session. The players had free time in the afternoon, with table tennis as popular as ever.

• Sebastian Rudy, who scored Germany's first goal of the tournament, is not too concerned about the loss to the Netherlands. "The performance we produced in the second half needs to be what we do from the first minute in the next match," he said.

Spain news
• Sergio Canales was ruled out of the tournament because of a left hamstring injury sustained against Russia.

• The players involved against Russia were allowed to rest on Friday. The remainder of the squad enjoyed a light training session at the Kafar Saba Stadium.

• The Spain squad have also been paying close attention to their Under-19 colleagues, who on Friday posted their second successive victory in their elite round qualifying group for next month's finals in Lithuania.

• Physio 'Tico' Gómez has been described as the most practical of the Spanish contingent. To avoid confusion, he always wears a watch on each arm: one telling the time in Israel and the other in Spain.

Last updated: 08/06/13 11.32CET