Quarter-final preview: Germany v Greece
Warsaw: Germany have shown they have the patience required to break down defensive-minded Greece in their Euro 2012 quarter-final on Friday.
But coach Joachim Loew may need to consider some changes on the flanks to get the win against a stubborn Greek side.
Germany have been criticised for abandoning the attacking football that impressed fans at the 2010 World Cup but Loew hit back in the lead-up to Friday`s quarter-final by blaming the opposition.
Loew claimed the teams they have played have not allowed Germany the space to attack at Euro 2012 and argued three wins and five goals in Group B was an impressive result.
‘Look at these opponents, even the Dutch retreated against us,’ Loew said.
‘You can`t always play as vertically as you want, it can be a consequence of the opponent playing deep.’
Germany`s patience has been crucial in their victories over Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark but while Loew would be wary of tinkering with a winning side, he may need to play some different wingers to get past Greece.
Greece progressed from Group A by playing their typical defensive style, which earned them a European title in 2004.
Loew has selected Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller as the wide players in his 4-2-3-1 formation so far at Euro 2012.
But Podolski and Mueller are more suited to the fast, counter-attacking style Germany showed in South Africa two years ago and Loew may need to bring in one of either Mario Goetze, Toni Kroos or Marco Reus to provide some more creativity.
Mesut Oezil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lars Bender, who all started in Germany`s 2-1 win over Denmark, are expected to be fit for the quarter-final despite missing training on Tuesday.
Greece will be without captain Giorgos Karagounis who is suspended and scored the winner against Russia in their final group match.
Coach Fernando Santos will likely send his team out to frustrate the Germans and hope to score from a corner or free-kick.
Defenders Vasilis Torosidis and Kyriakos Papadopoulos could therefore be crucial for Greece as goal-scoring options.
Torosidis has scored six goals for his country in 47 matches, while Papadopoulos has hit the back of the net three times in 11 appearances.
BDST: 1445 HRS, June 21, 2012
Edited by: Manoz Halder, Newsroom Editor