Germany coach Joachim Loew believes Turkey belong to the European elite

Loew believes Turkey will prove to be a tough test
Germany coach Joachim Loew told the Euro 2012 qualification pre-game press conference that he believes tonight's opponents Turkey belong to the European elite. He also commented on the atmosphere, the likely starting line-up and the success of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

This game is of particular significance to Joachim Loew as he has coached Turkish sides Fenerbahce and Adanaspor during his career.

"There is huge anticipation ahead of the game. I appreciate the Turkish mentality and their hospitality," Loew said.

Loew is also not concerned about the make-up of the crowd and should the Turkish fans outnumber the Germans, then the German boss says, "We will adjust ourselves to that."

On the Turkish side itself, Loew spoke highly of them and feels that they are formidable opponents.

"The Turks are clearly the strongest opposition we will face in the group. I am very optimistic that we can emerge from this game successfully in spite of our short preparation time."

"Turkey belongs to the European elite. They have already shown us two years ago at the European Championships how much technique and finesse they have. They are extremely dangerous and extremely strong. We need a good performance if we want to beat them."

As for the make-up of the defence, Per Mertesacker will line up alongside Holger Badstuber in the centre with Philipp Lahm and either Heiko Westermann or Jerome Boateng on either side. Loew explained his reasons behind his selection but also conceded that he has an embarrassment of riches in terms of quality centre-backs.

"Per has refound his rhythm after his injury and Holger is making a solid impression at Bayern. Both [left-backs] are admittedly better playing inside. I hope that they will continue to offer me more possibilities in the future."

Finally, Loew turned his attention to domestic matters and the success of Mainz and Dortmund.

Loew has already shown that he is monitoring the progress of players such as Andre Schuerrle, Lewis Holtby and Mario Goetze. However, he cautioned against expecting too much from these players.

"You cannot compare the Bundesliga with a big tournament. They have to first prove themselves with the German national team."

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