Friendly International U21
FT
3 - 1
(1 - 1)
England U21
Germany U21
F. Balogun (41), C. Gallagher (47), C. Palmer (90)
F. Nmecha (35)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Di Salvo commits to three starters, praises EPL prospect Khadra

Ahead of tomorrow's duel with England, Germany U21 head-coach Antonio Di Salvo committed to giving three players a shot in his starting XI. Marton Dardai, Felix Nmecha, and Noah Katterbach will play from the beginning.

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, Di Salvo had high praise for the recently introduced Reda Khadra, who may also start.
The recent loss of striker Youssoufa Moukoko and keeper Nico Mantl, along with Frederik Jäkel's (sick with flu-like symptoms) unavailability, leaves Germany U21 head-coach Antonio Di Salvo with just 21 players ahead of tomorrow's duel with the English youths.

Moukoko started in the team's last game, a 0-1 loss to the French U21s on Friday. Whether Di Salvo is contemplating a direct replacement for his lead striker is unclear. Jamie Leweling, Faride Alidou, and Jan Thielmann can all play at center-forward.

Di Salvo may have been tight lipped about his starting striker (and goalkeeper) when speaking at a Monday press round, but did specifically commit to starting three players who did not feature in the XI last time.

Noah Katerbach (left-back), Felix Nmecha (attacking midfielder), and Marton Dardai (center halve) will all play from the start. Di Salvo gave specific reasons for the deployment of Dardai and Nmecha.

"Marton has done very well with us so far," Di Salvo explained, "I've already told him that he'll get his shot in England. The same  Felix Nmecha, who made a great impression with us in March and earned his starting debut. He should show that he is a good footballer in the country where he grew up in and once represented at youth level."

Over the weekend, Di Salvo had high praise regarding another player for whom the trip to England constitutes a homecoming of sorts. Berlin native Reda Khadra has spent most of his professional career on the Isle, playing for Brighton, Sheffield, and Blackburn Rovers.

The 21-year-old midfielder finally saw his first action with the team after multiple call-ups. Khadra played 26 minutes in relief and nearly helped Schalke's Tom Krauß score an equalizer with a fine set-up. Di Salvo noted that he was pleased with how his newcomer operated.

"You can see what type of player he is," Di Salvo noted on Saturday, "He put his stamp on the game. He is incredibly lively ands was able to get past his marker on a couple of occasions. For him personally ,it was a successful debut."

Mantl's departure leaves Di Salvo with just two keepers. Presumably, after SC Freiburg's Noah Atubolu got the nod last time, the U21 gaffer might wish to give U21 debutant Christian Früchtl a run-out. Di Salvo remained noncommittal about this, noting that "playing well" took precedence over "experiments".

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