Germany - Greece Preview: Joachim Low's side look to extend winning run against Greeks
The Mannschaft have never lost a European Championship quarter-final and will be confident of keeping that record intact against Fernando Santos' surprise packages
By Karthick Arvinth
Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm
Muller, Ozil, Podolski
To'sidis, Pa'poulos, K Pa'poulos, Tzavelas
Salpingidis, Fotakis, Samaras
Germany have no fitness concerns ahead of their quarter-final clash with Greece in Gdansk on Friday.
Defender Jerome Boateng is available after serving a one-match ban and is set to take over from Lars Bender at right-back, in what is likely to be the only change to the side that beat Denmark 2-1 on Sunday.
Greece coach Fernando Santos will be without captain Giorgos Karagounis and Jose Holebas, who are both suspended, while goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias is unlikely to recover from his hamstring injury in time.
Parma-bound playmaker Sotiris Ninis could be drafted in to replace Karagounis, or, alternatively, Santos may opt for the more experienced Giorgos Fotakis.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Germany have won their last 14 competitive international fixtures, a national record.
- The Mannschaft have never lost to Greece. Their record in eight previous head-to-head meetings is W5, D3.
- The Germans are competing in their fifth European championship quarter-final and have gone on to reach the final on each previous occasion.
- Holger Badstuber (pictured right) is a yellow card away from suspension.
- Greece have scored just once in each of their last eight games, winning just twice during that sequence.
- The Hellenic outfit have scored in 21 of the 24 matches under Fernando Santos - the exceptions all ended as goalless draws.
- Greece's only quarter-final appearance at a major tournament was the 1-0 triumph over France at Euro 2004, a competition they went on to win.
- Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Dimitris Salpingidis and Vasilis Torosidis will incur a ban with their next bookings.
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Top 3 Predictions
Germany 2-0 Greece
- 23.01 %
Germany 3-0 Greece
- 17.25 %
Germany 3-1 Greece
- 9.2 %
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The Real Madrid star has had a relatively quiet tournament so far, but Joachim Low has backed the playmaker to "explode" in the knockout rounds just like he did in the World Cup two years ago. Indeed, a return to the pomp and swagger of his performances in South Africa may just be what is needed to get the zip back into Germany's build-up play in the final third, which has at times looked a tad bit ponderous.
With Greece unlikely to waver from attritional tactics, their defending will have to be up to the task to give them any chance of pulling off an upset against the slick passing game of the Germans. The 20-year-old Papadopoulos was reliable at the back in the group stages and his physical strength and ability to read the game will aid him well in his duel with the predatory Mario Gomez.
This game could be closer than many expect, not least because Germany have not looked completely convincing despite their perfect record in the group stage and Greece are quite capable of frustrating good sides. But just as the Germans persevered to down Denmark on Sunday, their greater footballing ability should break through in the end.
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed