Euro 2012 Social Match Preview: Red-hot Germany expected to gallop past Greece
Greece have needed help to escape their economic problems but they will need a miracle if they are to make it through their Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with Germany on Friday night.
Greek captain Giorgios Karagounis will miss the last-eight game in Gdansk after he was cautioned for the second time in the 1-0 win over Russia and one of Grigoris Makos or Giorgos Fotakis will replace the absent skipper.
Jerome Boateng looks set to return for Germany after missing the 2-1 win over Denmark on Sunday but Lars Bender will be desperate to keep his place in the side and will have done his chances no harm after scoring the winner in the final group game.
Germany boss Joachim Loew revealed that influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be fit for the game, news that will boost the Germans as they head into this encounter as red-hot favourites.
The two nations don’t meet too often and their most recent clashes were in 2002 World Cup qualifying when the Germans won 2-0 in Hamburg and 4-2 in Athens on their way to the tournament in Japan and South Korea.
Greece are expected to sit back during the game and try to frustrate the talented German side but having not won against Germany in their last eight attempts, it will be an even tougher task this time around.
Not many supporters are backing Greece to get a result from the game including @AhmedGooner who tweeted: “My mate put money on Greece to beat Germany tomorrow. If he's throwing money away, I'd appreciate it if he'd offer it to me first.”
The game is significant because of the uneasy economic relationship between the two countries at present and @greekfooty highlighted on Twitter how the presence of German chancellor Angela Merkel may have negative effects: “Oh, great! I just read Merkel will show up at Gdansk for the Germany-Greece game. Here we go... Expect A LOT of abuse from the Greek fans.”
But @vali_nasr posted on Twitter to show how the Greeks are taking the game a little lighter than some might have thought: “Greek fan t-shirts for Greece-Germany game read: it is our turn to kick you of the Euro.”
Despite the prediction that Germany will run away with this quarter-final, some are expecting Greece to defend well and make it difficult for Loew’s side. But when it comes to the knockout stages, will Greece’s hard work and effort alone be enough?
Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Ozil, Podolski, Gomez
Greece (4-2-3-1): Sifakis, Torosidis, Papastathopoulos, K Papadopoulos, Tzavelas, Katsouranis, Maniatis, Salpingidis, Fotakis, Samaras, Gekas