Two of the world's most dominant footballing nations in Germany and Spain are set to meet in the final of the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship at the Stadion Cracovia in Krakow. While Spain will be looking to match Italy's record and win the tournament for the fifth time, Germany will be looking to win only their second title having won it in 2009.
From the start of the tournament, Germany and Spain were expected to go all the way and while both teams have been exceptional so far, one team is going to be disappointed tonight. As expected Spain topped their group as they breezed past every opponent in the group stage while Germany had to settle for second place in their group after they lost their final group stage match against Italy.
In the semi-final, Germany needed penalties against England to book their place in the final after the match ended 2-2 after extra time. Spain faced no problem in their semi-final against Italy as Saul Níguez's hat trick sent them to the finals.
The Spaniards have a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the Euro U21 final but Germany might have to do without Davie Selke, who picked up an injury in the semi-finals against England. The fitness of Niklas Stark is also a concern for Germany as he left training early.
A lot of people are favouring Spain to get the win over Germany tonight but Germany coach Stefan Kuntz insists that his Germany are ready to cause an upset and said that his players have done a good job for their country so far.
"I would like to let others decide who favourites are, but we are not finished yet, we want to achieve something and that's what we're thinking about right now. From the beginning, we said we wanted to measure ourselves against the best. We have played Italy, England and now Spain. It's very cool," UEFA.com quoted Kuntz as saying.
During his pre-match press conference, Spain boss Albert Celades admitted that his players must up their game in the final if they are to match Italy's record. He said his players have the best mentality and are calm ahead of this big match.
"Miracles don't exist and we have to do something more than we did against Portugal and Italy. We are prepared to face Germany with the best mentality. I don't want to be boring, but it's cost us a lot to get here, the players know that," Celades said.
"Whatever the excitement outside of us, we're not aware of that. I see my players and I feel calm as I know they feel the same."
Saul Niguez and Marco Asensio will be two Spanish players to watch out for. Apart from Niguez scoring a hat-trick against Italy in the semi-finals he also scored in the group stage against Macedonia and Portugal. Asensio, on the other hand, has been Spain's best performer this tournament and German defence will have to keep a close eye on the two of them.
Where to watch
The 2017 Euro U21 final between Spain and Germany is set to start at 8.45 pm local time, 12.15 am IST and 2.45 pm EST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV No coverage.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 1/HD. Live streaming: Sky Sports GO.
Spain: TV: Cuatro
Germany: TV: ARD Das Erste, ZDF.
USA: TV: ESPN Deportes+ USA, ESPNU. Live streaming: WatchESPN.
International live streaming: YouTube.