This match contains all the political tension around it. It’s not just about the game as we know ,with economic and political issues between the two nations . One of the best attacking side in the world right now faces the one of the most astute defences in Europe. Everyone favourites Germans will take Greece lightly at their own peril.
This Greek side has advanced to quarterfinals after defeating Russia and drawing with host Poland. Their loss to Czech Republic in the second group match is their only defeat in last 13 matches. They play a solid defensive game and try to hit teams on counters. Most of their wins have been 1-0 only in a low scoring qualifying campaign, scoring just 14 goals but still topping their qualifying group. In quarterfinals they should line up in a 4-3-3 formation as they did against Russia. They will miss their inspirational captain Giorgous Karagounis through suspension. Greek strategy will be to stifle the free flowing game of Germans as much as possible and score on a counter attack.
Key Players: Kostas Katsouranis
Germany came to the tournament as favourites and has done nothing to dispel that notion. With three wins in three matches in group stages that too in the so called group of death they have done justice to their favourites billing. Players like Ozil, Muller, Schwansteiger who can turn the match anytime with their sublime skills are in prime form. They have played a very attacking game so far and are on 14 game winning streak in competitive games , which is a national record.
It’s very hard to find any flaw in the current German side. Khedira and Schweinteiger have been tireless in the midfield, Ozil has carried his top from real Madrid to the national team. Gomez whom many doubted earlier as the only possible flaw in the team has played exceptionally well scoring three well taken goals. Philip Lahm, the captain has also been excellent, marshalling a tight defence line and at same time providing width during counters.
Key Players: Ozil, Schweinteiger
Many people might say that this match will be a classic David vs goliath affair but that will be disrespectful to a quality Greece team. They did it in EURO 2004 by defeating favourites France and eventually becoming champions, they have the capability to do it again .And you can be never too sure in knockouts.
It should be a tight game initially, and match might have the making of Bayern Vs Chelsea champions league final with Greece keeping 10 players behind the ball . But Germany should eventually breakthrough Greek defence and score. This will prompt Greece to open their game which will lead to one more German goal on counter. A 2-0 win for Germany is my prediction.
– Nitin Malik