Germany faces England in ‘classic’ U21 football final

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has said the England camp is "buzzing" ahead of their European Under-21 Championship final against Germany in Malmo, Sweden, on Monday.

Germany faces England in 'classic' U21 football final
Photo: DPA

Stuart Pearce’s men booked their place in the final with a victory on penalties over the hosts in their semi-final in Gothenburg, having let a 3-0 half-time lead slip.

The victory also exorcised the demons of England’s exit from the 2007 tournament, when they went down 13-12 to the Netherlands in a heart-breaking semi-final penalty shootout.

“We can’t wait for the final now,” Walcott said. “We have two days to recover and prepare, and everyone will be buzzing. We have 23 players in the squad who have been fantastic throughout the tournament.”

Walcott is likely to start in a central striking role against the Germans, with strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Frazier Campbell both suspended.

Pearce will also be without goalkeeper Joe Hart, who picked up his second booking of the tournament during the shootout against Sweden, but the former England left-back says the right mindset will be crucial.

“The team who has the most guts, takes their chances when they come and maybe has enough fit players will win the game,” he said. “It’s the furthest I’ve been in international football as a player or a manager so it’s a step in the right direction. We need to win one more match and one team stands in our way.”

Germany, meanwhile, are gunning for their first Under-21 European crown since 1982, having edged Italy 1-0 in their semi-final in Helsingborg.

They drew 1-1 with England when the sides met in the group stage but Hoffenheim defender Andreas Beck, who scored the winner against Italy, says the final will be a different game.

“This fixture has been a classic in the past and we’re really looking forward to it,” the 22-year-old told the UEFA website.”

“In the group stage it wasn’t a great game, but they had changed their starting eleven completely and for us a draw was enough.”

“This final will be a completely open game. The English have a few suspended players, but we don’t really care about that.”

“We want to focus on our team and will go into the match fully confident we can win. They’ll have different players but we’ve scouted them and know their strengths and weaknesses. It’ll be a classic.”

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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.