Antonio Di Salvo has named his squad for his first matches as Germany U21 national team head coach, two European Championship qualifiers against Israel in Paderborn (7th October, 18:15 CEST) and against Hungary in Szeged (12th October, 17:30 CEST). Vincent Müller (PSV Eindhoven), Luca Netz (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Jan Thielmann (1. FC Köln), Malik Tillman (FC Bayern München) and Kevin Schade (SC Freiburg) have all been selected for the first time. Yannik Keitel (SC Freiburg) and Jordan Beyer (Borussia Mönchengladbach), who have a made a combined total of 23 appearances for the U21s but missed out on the games in September due to injury, have returned to the squad.
Antonio Di Salvo commented: “We made a good start to our qualifying campaign in September with two wins. The lads quickly clicked both on and off the pitch, and I’m sure the new additions to the squad will integrate into the team just as quickly. We’re aiming to continue down our successful path and further develop the players not just as individuals but also as a team.”
The U21 side will experience three things for the first time in their upcoming match in Paderborn. The reigning U21 European champions will play their first home game since they won the EUROs against Portugal on 6th June (1-0), and it will be their first match in front of a crowd since November 2019. Di Salvo will also be taking charge of his first U21 match since succeeding from Stefan Kuntz as head coach on 23rd September, and his first game taking place in his hometown of Paderborn. “The way everything has worked out is very special, and it’s personally a brilliant story for me,” added the 42-year-old. “I hope as many fans turn out in Paderborn as possible and support us in this game.”
Germany and Israel will play in a top-of-the-table clash in European Championship qualifying group B, with both teams having won their opening two matches. Germany’s goal difference is superior to that of Israel (Germany 9:1, Israel 4:2) putting them ahead of their upcoming opponents in the table. Germany U21s won the last meeting between the two sides, securing a 3-0 victory in March 2018. After the game in Paderborn, the team travel to Hungary for a match on 12th October before two more home games against Poland and San Marino lie in wait in November.