Germany will be overwhelming favourites to cement their place in the semi-finals, when they take on Greece in the second quarter-finals of Euro 2012 at Gdansk on Friday, June 22nd.
Greece who sneaked through to the last eight stage will be hit badly by the absence of Giorgos Karagounis who scored the match winner in his side’s shock victory over the Russians, in Group A. Jose Holebas will also miss out thereby making it a near impossible task for the Greeks against a rampant Germany. Both players are serving suspensions.
In a game between a rampaging German forward line an an obdurate Greek back line, the underdog will be hoping to score on the counter, apart from set piece situations. Germany swept thorough the group of death to emerge with full nine points, beating Portugal, Holland and Denmark in the process.
Gomez and Ozil have shown brilliant form in attack and they will be key to Germany’s goal scoring ability in Friday’s game. Their brilliant passing and finishing have been augmented by what is arguably the strongest midfield on display in the competition.
Greece followed up on their loss to Czech Republic in their opening game in Group A with a draw against Poland and sneaked through on a head-to-head comparison with Russia after beating the latter 1-0, riding on a winning goal by Karagounis. Greece’s resolute back line has been aided by great keeping by Michalis Sifakis who replaced Greece’s first choice keeper Kostas Chalkias against Poland and has since not conceded a goal in 160 minutes of playing time.
Their lack of goal scoring ability has been compounded by the indifferent form of Greece’s striker Georgios Samaras who plays for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League. His counterpart Mario Gomez, in the German line up, on the other hand, has three goals so far from as many games, and is going from strength to strength.
Germany’s probable eleven: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez.
Greece’s probable eleven: Sifakis, Torosidis, Papstathopoulos, Papadopoulos, Tzavellas, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Salpingidis, Ninis, Samaras, Gekas.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.