This afternoon the Germany U21s will meet in their team hotel in Braunschweig, where they will start preparing for the first of their two European qualifiers. Thilo Kehrer (FC Schalke 04) and Timo Baumgartl (VfB Stuttgart) however will not meet up with the team. Kehrer is absent due to a severe black eye and Baumgartl due to the effects of concussion. Both defenders will be treated by their respective clubs and whether they will join up with the squad at a later date will be decided by Wednesday.
The U21s' first game is on Thursday (19:00 CET) against Israel in the Eintracht-Stadion and their second will take place the following Tuesday, 27th March (18:45 CST) away to Kosovo. They currently sit top of their qualification group for the European Champions 2019, which takes place in Italy and San Marino, having taken twelve points from their first five games.
“We want to maintain our lead in the table, so we will head into our games against Israel and Kosovo fully focused,” said coach Stefan Kuntz. “The match against Israel back in November was not as clear as the score-line might suggest. We know we’re heading into a game against a strong opponent and we’re hoping for good support from our fans when we kick off in Braunschweig. In Kosovo, there’s sure to be a great atmosphere in the stadium like we had in Germany, where we noticed how enthusiastic their group of supporters were.”
Three training sessions will take place across today and tomorrow, after which the U21s will visit the cancer ward of the children’s hospital in Braunschweig. On Wednesday afternoon there will be a public training session in the Eintracht-Stadion, where fans are welcome to come down, take photos and have some autographs signed by the U21 national players.