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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Senior call-ups may hamper Germany's challenge

Czechs have the ability to capitalise in Tychy

Czech striker Patrik Schick will test Germany's defensive resolve
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European Under-21 Championship Group C
Sky Sports 1, 5pm Sunday

Czech Republic failed to get past the group stage when they hosted the 2015 European Under-21 Championship but they have taken a strong squad to Poland this summer and can begin by taking a least a point against Germany in Tychy.

Few nations produce better young players than Germany but their resources are stretched with several players having earned call-ups to the senior squad.

Leroy Sane, Niklas Sule, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Julian Brandt and Timo Werner were called up for the Confederations Cup, despite featuring in an unblemished European Under-21 Championship qualifying campaign of ten wins from ten games.

Head coach Stefan Kuntz still has a strong squad at his disposal, headlined by Max Meyer, Max Arnold and Serge Gnabry, who should have a spring in his step after sealing a summer move from Werder Bremen to Bayern Munich.

But they look far from an invincible bunch and could be caused some problems by the Czechs, who qualified from a tricky group in impressive style, winning seven of ten games and finishing five points ahead of Belgium.

Czech Republic's squad features four players with senior experience - midfield trio Tomas Soucek, Antonin Barak and Jakub Jankto plus centre-forward Patrik Schick.

By far the biggest threat to Germany is Sampdoria's Schick, who was the overall top scorer in qualifying with ten goals.

Schick has just completed an excellent first campaign for Sampdoria in Serie A, netting 11 goals, and his eye for goal could be the key to a positive first result for the Czechs.

Czech Republic or draw double chance
1pt 7-5 bet365

Team news
Centre-back Jonathan Tah picked up an injury in the build-up to the tournament and is unavailable.

Czech Republic
No fresh injuries are reported from the Czech camp.

Key stat
Germany have scored just two goals in their last four matches.

Few nations produce better young players than Germany but their resources are stretched
E.W. Terms
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