Competition UEFA U21 Championship 2013
Team Germany and Spain
Date 10 June 2013
Venue Shar-Tov Stadium (Netanya) Israel
Another side with a nigh-on perfect record in qualification, Germany arrive at the competition with a talented and confident squad. Throughout the side there are players with a wealth of Bundesliga experience, which will surely serve them well in the coming weeks, while in striker Kevin Volland, as well as midfielders Sebastian Rode and Lewis Holtby, the side have genuine star quality. A tough group stage battle awaits, but Germany will be quietly confident of qualifying at Netherlands' or Spain's expense.
Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur) - Tottenham's big January signing, midfielder Holtby is still eligible to play at Under-21 level, and has an astonishingly good record at this age group. Given his experience, he will be expected to take on a central role in orchestrating the side's attacks, as well as staying resolute in his defensive duties. Strikers Kevin Volland and Peniel Mlapa will need Holtby to be on top of his game in order to shine.
Defending champions Spain will once more be the side to beat this summer, having been the leading European nation at both senior and youth level over recent years. An almost pristine qualification campaign was backed up by a hiccup-free 8-1 playoff win over Denmark, meaning that every side in the draw will once more be fully aware of Spain's potential at this level. Isco, Thiago Alcantara and David De Gea lead the way, but the reigning champions boast an entire squad with both high-level experience and quality.
Rodrigo (Benfica) - While it may be the folks in midfield who will determine the pace of the game, Spain will need their No. 9 to be on form in front of goal if they are to succeed. With 11 goals in nine qualifying games, Rodrigo will be the man they look to for goals as the competition intensifies.