This week saw the England senior side face a tough friendly against Italy and the Under 21's face a strong German side.
The Young Lions faced off against the Germans in a closely fought game at the Riverside Stadium on Monday night. The game provided a tough test for the players in the lead up to this year's European Under-21 Championships being held in the Czech Republic.
The Germans have been well renowned for their strength at this level having won the tournament in 2009 - both Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira make the step up from this level to go on and win the World Cup with the senior team.
On this occasion the German team featured a mix of lesser-known players along with some youngsters that are interesting Premier League clubs. Liverpool's Emre Can got the chance to move up into midfield after his recent spell in a back three for the Reds. Young Barcelona keeper Marc Ter Stegen also featured in the game. Matthias Ginter and Maximillian Meyer have been attracting the interest of some of the top Premier League teams and could potentially make a move across to England in the summer window.
The England side featured a host of Championship players along with a few young Premier League players. Premier League stars featured included West Ham loanee Carl Jenkinson, Everton's John Stones, Southampton's James Ward-Prowse and Burnley's Danny Ings. Will Hughes was one of the more easily recognised Championship players alongside Nathan Redmond and Derby loanee Jesse Lingard.
The Germans took the lead early after 15 minutes through Hoffman and with Can and Leitner controlling the midfield they controlled the opening stages of the game. As the game wore on the England side grew into the game and grabbed a equaliser through Jesse Lingard finish from a Carl Jenkinson cross.
The Germans then hit back within five minutes when Hoffman scored his second of the game. The home side equalised with 10 minutes left through Nathan Redmond with help from a slight deflection into the back of the net. The icing on the cake for England came from a cool finish from James Ward-Prowse to give the team a big win.
Much has been said about the senior sides recent success racking up 5 wins in a row but the Under-21 side are now unbeaten in 12 games and will be confident going into the European Champions.
Gareth Southgate now has a selection headache for the tournament as he has to decide whether he sticks to the squad that has been used through qualification or if he looks to bring some of the established stars from the senior side such as Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Harry Kane, Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw among others.
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