The Germany U21s will play their last international game of the year on Monday (18:30 CET) in Italy. In the upcoming game against the record U21 European champions and hosts of the next Euros, the Germany team have the opportunity to claim a milestone victory against a tough opposition and end their international year unbeaten.
Record: The Germany U21s will meet Italy for the eleventh time. From the last ten games, Germany have only lost twice, drawn four times and won the rest. On Italian soil, the record is quite equal, with both teams winning once and one ending in a draw.
Last game: The most recent game was played in the group stages of last year’s Euros in Krakow. Italy won through a Federico Bernardeschi goal in what was Germany’s only loss of the tournament. Germany went on to win the tournament, whilst Italy got knocked out by Spain in the semi-finals.
Competitive games: Before the defeat in the European Championship last year, Germany and Italy had only faced each other in one other competitive game: in the 2009 Euros in Sweden where Germany beat Italy 1-0 in the semi finals. Germany then went on to win the tournament.
Last win: Although Germany have the better head-to-head record, they have gone nine years without beating Italy. Since their win at the 2009 Euros, there have been two losses and two draws for Germany against the five-time U21 European champions. The only other team they have not beaten in that long is Portugal.
Tight game: Only one game in the last ten has ended with a margin of more than one goal. This happened in 2002 when Germany beat Italy 2-0 with Benjamin Auer getting both goals.
Late goals: Almost all the goals between these two teams have been scored in the second half, with four of 19 being scored in the first half. The Italians only scored in the first half against Germany for the first time in the ninth game between the two sides.
Impressive run: Germany are undefeated in seven games in this calendar year and have a goal ratio of 20:1. They have only dropped points against Kosovo in a 0-0 draw back in March. Norway are the only team to have scored, when Germany beat them 2-1. The Norwegians are also the latest team to beat Germany back in 2017 (3-1). Since then, the Germans have been unbeaten in nine games.
Hungry for goals: Only in one of their last 15 matches have Germany not been able to score (0-0 vs Kosovo in March). In the remaining 14 games, Germany have averaged 3.1 goals per game.###more###
Perfect debut: Törless Knöll from 1. FC Nürnberg only needed 21 minutes to score on his debut. The substitute came on in the game against the Netherlands last Friday during the 3-0 victory. Abdelhamid Sabiri also scored his first goal for the Germany U21s in that match.
Top ten appearance makers: Levin Öztunali could move into the top 10 appearance makers with his 23rd game and join Marco Haber, Heiko Herrlich, Andreas “Zecke” Neuendorf, Benjamin Auer, Christoph Preuss, Maximilian Arnold and Sebastian Rudy. The man at the top is Fabian Ernst who has played a total of 31 games.
Milestone win: The victory against the Netherlands was the Germany U21s’ 199th, meaning a win against Italy would be the 200th.
Record holders: The Italy U21s are the current European Ú21 Championship record holders with five titles. Their last title was in 2004.
Record participants: The Italians will be in the tournament for the 20th time, also a record.
Opponents' form: As holders of the next U21 Euros, the Italians have not had to go through qualification. Instead, the team have played nine friendlies, of which they have won three (against Serbia, Albania and Tunisia). However, they lost to England, Belgium, Slovakia and Portugal. The Italians have scored at least one goal in six of their last seven games.
Senior-team experience: Out of the 27 players in the squad, three of them have represented the senior team. They are Rolando Mandragora, Nicolo Zaniolo and Patrick Cutrone.
Moise Kean: The 18-year-old from Juventus was the first player born in the 2000s to score in one of the top five European leagues. Riccardo Orsolini, the top scorer at the U20 World Cup in 2017, is also in the squad.
Venue: The game will be played in the Mapei Stadium, which is 150 kilometres south-east of Milan. It can hold up to nearly 30,000 fans, although the capacity will be limited to 20,084 for security reasons.###more###