Germany v Denmark background
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Germany have had the better of previous encounters with Denmark, but the Group A rivals have never before met at a UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals.
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Neighbours Germany and Denmark meet for the first time at a UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament as they continue their Group A campaigns.
• The four semi-finalists in the Czech Republic will qualify for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Should England reach the last four, the two third-placed teams will contest a play-off on 28 June to take their place.
• Germany and Denmark have never previously met in a final tournament but did face each other in qualifying in 1993. Both games brought away victories.
• Christian Ziege scored twice as Germany triumphed 4-1 in Ronne in April before Denmark, whose senior team famously stunned the Germans in the EURO final a year earlier, won 1-0 in Celle that October. Neither team advanced, with Spain topping their qualifying group.
• The teams' last meeting was a friendly on 28 May 2008, when goals from Aaron Hunt, Rouwen Hennings and Max Kruse helped Germany to a 4-0 win in Lubeck, Jesper Lange putting through his own net.
• The teams have also met five times in friendlies, Germany winning two with three draws.
• Germany have only gone beyond the last eight twice in nine previous final tournament appearances, in 1982 and 2009, meeting England in the final on each occasion. They lost in 1982 and won in 2009.
• Six of Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup-winning squad played in the side which beat England 4-0 in the 2009 final: Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil.
• This is Denmark's third appearance at a final tournament; they failed to get out of the group stage in 2011 on home turf and in 2006.
• Denmark did reach the semi-finals in 1992, the last season before final tournaments were introduced. An Italy team including Demetrio Albertini beat them 3-0 over two legs.
Germany: Horst Hrubesch
Curiously, Hrubesch replaced his successor Rainer Adrion after Germany's disappointing showing at Israel 2013. The former West Germany striker, who had guided the U21s to glory at the 2009 finals in Sweden, scored both goals during his nation's 2-1 triumph over Belgium in the 1980 UEFA European Championship final.
Denmark: Jess Thorup
The former striker – who played in Germany, Austria and Norway – took charge in June 2013, a month after overseeing Esbjerg's victory against Randers in the Danish Cup final, their first trophy since 1979. He was named Denmark's coach of the year as a result.
Last five games (most recent first): DLDDW
Qualifying top scorer: Philipp Hofmann (7)
Last five games (most recent first): WDWDW
Qualifying top scorer: Lasse Christensen (5)
• The first order of business for Germany on Thursday was to fully recover from the Serbia match the night before. In the background, however, preparations for the meeting with Denmark were already in full swing, with analysts compiling information observed in Wednesday’s other group A match.
• Horst Hrubesch said: "I am not quite sure why we started off so slowly, but we need to understand that nothing will come for free here." Before the start of the finals, the Germany coach rated Denmark as one of the tournament favourites, saying they are "significantly underrated."
• Marc-André ter Stegen was preferred to Bernd Leno in the opening match and helped his side to hang on for a point against Serbia. "We are rivals, Bernd and I, but we have a lot of respect for each other. We don't need to be in each other's arms all the time, the competition is too fierce for that."
• Christian Günter will be suspended for the match after his red card for two bookable offences against Serbia. Nico Schulz is expected to feature at left-back instead.
• Moritz Leitner was booked on matchday one and will be suspended if he receives another yellow card against Denmark.
• Denmark had a largely leisurely day on Thursday, spending the afternoon with family and friends before going out for dinner together in the evening.
• Defender Frederik Sørensen did not train with the rest of the squad because of the hamstring injury which forced him off against the Czech Republic on matchday one.
• Players and staff – some more keenly than others – were keeping one eye on the Danish general election on Thursday. Players living in Denmark cast their vote together before leaving for the Czech Republic.
• Pierre Højbjerg reported some tightness in his hamstring on arrival in Prague and left the camp to see a specialist in Germany for further tests. He played 90 minutes against the hosts, however.
• Jonas Knudsen and Jannik Vestergaard were booked on matchday one and will be suspended if they receive another yellow card against Germany.