So in the 2nd Quarter Finals of the Euro 2012 competition the favourites Germany will face perhaps the biggest underdogs left in the competition – Greece, with the winner of this match heading into a semi-final with either England or Italy.
Germany seem to be in a different class from other nations this year, comfortably winning their group which included the likes of Holland (whom were surprisingly poor), Denmark (unsurprisingly nothing special), and Portugal (occasionally excellent, more often average). So as of yet no team has really pushed Germany to perform to their highest levels, and its unlikely that Greece will provide any more of a challenge.
The biggest threat which Greece will pose tonight versus Germany will simply be that of “how do we break through their defence?” I fully expect Greece to arrive in this Quarter Final tonight, and for manager Fernando Santos to direct the teambus to be parked directly infront of their goal for the full 90 minutes of the match. To put it another way, Greece will play exactly as they’ve played up until this point – they will defend and hope to score on the counter.
The German attackers will likely to need to be at their sharpest best to force their way through a dogged Greek defence, incidentally many of whom already ply their trade in the Bundersliga and so will be fairly well aquanted with German football. Greece will be without their inspirational and fiery captain Karagounis and also without player Holebas as they’re both serving suspensions. Jerome Boateng could return for Germany having served his own one game suspension. It remains to be seen whether Greece can prolong their lucky streak following their shock win against Russia in the last game, which knocked Russia out and sealed Greece’s position in the knock-out stages.
There has been much said about politics heading into this game, with many Germans seemingly unhappy with the nation having to help Greece out of their Eurozone problems, but I for one hope that everyone can forget about these issues and concentrate on the match in hand. This could make for very interesting viewing for England and Italy fans, as one of these teams will be facing the eventual winner of the Germany v Greece game.