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Germany v Denmark background

This meeting of 2015's beaten semi-finalists pits Germany against Denmark, with each seeking to take a significant stride towards reaching the last four again.

Kevin Volland (right) after scoring for Germany against Denmark in 2015
Kevin Volland (right) after scoring for Germany against Denmark in 2015 ©Sportsfile

Germany and Denmark both lost in the 2015 semi-finals but they will be seeking to take a step towards the last four again when they meet for the second successive UEFA European Under-21 Championship on the second day of Group C.

Previous meetings
• The teams' third and most recent encounter came on matchday two of the 2015 finals in the Czech Republic, with Horst Hrubesch's Germany running out 3-0 winners in Prague. Kevin Volland (32, 48) and Matthias Ginter (53) got the goals against Jess Thorup's Denmark.

• The line-ups at the Eden Stadium on 20 June 2015 were:
Germany: Ter Stegen, Korb, Ginter, Schulz, Bittencourt (Gnabry 79), Can (Geis 77), Kimmich, Heintz, Younes, Meyer, Volland (Klaus 82).
Denmark: Busk, Scholz, Vestergaard, Knudsen, A Christensen, L Christensen, Poulsen (Bech 61), Thomsen, Jønsson (Nørgaard 77), Brock-Madsen, Sisto (Fischer 72).

• Denmark nevertheless finished top of Group A with six points, one more than runners-up Germany.

• The teams' only other competitive fixtures came in the 1994 preliminaries, when each recorded an away win. Christian Ziege's two goals helped Germany to a 4-1 success in Denmark, who in turn were 1-0 victors in their away game.

Match background

• Germany scored 35 goals – more than any other side in qualifying – to win Group 7; what's more, they were the only team to achieve a perfect record having won all ten qualifiers. They scored four in four of their five home matches, although their biggest victory came away – 6-0 in the Faroe Islands. Stefan Kuntz's charges finished eight points clear of next-best Austria.

• Semi-finalists in 2015 – losing to Portugal – Germany's sole U21 title came in 2009, when a squad including Manuel Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels, Marcel Schmelzer, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil lifted the trophy in Sweden.

• Germany have figured in five of the last seven tournaments, but survived the group stage in just 2009 and 2015. They were beaten quarter-finalists in 1992, 1996 and 1998.

• West Germany were runners-up in 1982, also getting to the quarter-finals in 1990.

• Denmark drew their first qualifier at home to Wales but won all of their next nine – keeping clean sheets in their first five matches and managing seven shut-outs overall. Their three-goals-against column was the joint lowest in qualifying, along with Italy and England.

• The Danes were semi-finalists – losing to neighbours Sweden – for only the second time in 2015, having also fallen in the last four in 1992. They reached the quarter-finals in both 1978 and 1986, yet otherwise have only two finals appearances to their name, being eliminated in the group stage in 2006 and, as hosts, 2011.

Coach and player links
• Frederik Holst, Christian Nørgaard, Lasse Vigen Christensen and Kenneth Zohore were in the Denmark team beaten 2-0 by Germany in the 2011 European U17 Championship semi-finals. Jeremy Toljan appeared as a substitute for Germany.

• Germany were 4-0 winners against Denmark in the elite round en route to claiming the 2014 European U19 Championship title, Max Meyer scoring twice. Levin Öztunali and Niklas Stark also played for Germany; Jeppe Højbjerg, Frederik Børsting and Emiliano Hansen and substitute Joachim Andersen were in the Denmark side, with Thomas Hagelskjær and Mads Pedersen unused replacements.

• Nørgaard was at Hamburg between January 2012 and August 2013.

• Patrick Banggaard joined Darmstadt in January 2017.

Coach profiles

Stefan Kuntz, Germany
An influential player at every club he represented, Kuntz had his most successful period during a six-year spell at Kaiserslautern. He lifted two trophies – the Bundesliga in 1991 and the German Cup a year before – and was also named Germany's footballer of the year in 1991. Kuntz twice won the Bundesliga Golden Boot, yet only had a short international career of four years, although that did incorporate victory at EURO '96.

His coaching career began in the lower leagues; indeed Kuntz has never managed a team higher than the 2. Bundesliga and – after five years at four different clubs – he stepped up to become general manager at Koblenz and later Bochum. After eight years as CEO of Kaiserslautern, Kuntz succeeded Horst Hrubesch as Germany U21 coach.

Niels Frederiksen, Denmark
Frederiksen did not have a professional playing career; he was educated in economics and worked in banking for several years while working part-time as a youth coach at B93 and Lyngby. Subsequently he replaced Henrik Larsen as Lyngby coach in 2009, and in his first full season, 2009/10, he earned promotion to the Danish top flight.

Frederiksen then succeeded Jess Thorup – who had taken charge of Denmark's U21s – as Esbjerg coach at the start of 2013/14. He once again took over from Thorup in his current post in August 2015.