Game two of the quarter-finals takes place tonight in Gdansk and sees joint favourites Germany against unlikely contenders Greece. The Germans managed to top the group of death with maximum points, making a real statement to the likes of Spain and France. The Greeks however were something of a surprise in their group, only securing qualification on the last day after a shock win against Russia thanks to a strike from Giorgios Karagounis on the stroke of half time.
In the game against Russia, Greece illustrated what they are capable of against a bigger side, showing remnants of their Euro 2004 winning squad. Despite only seeing 31% of possession they held onto their lead and defended well – but a special mention to the poor strike rate of Russia who managed 31 shots with only 2 on target.
In this quarter-final the Greeks won’t want to be so giving with the possession stats because the Germans are much more clinical in front of goal. Especially star striker Mario Gomez who already has 3 goals from 3 games at the championships after a strong season for Bayern Munich.
Germany are used to having the lion share of possession and know how to use it, scoring 5 times from 12 shots on target. But the Greek way of soaking up pressure is sure to be a concern to large portion of the German squad who played for Bayern Munich against Chelsea in the Champions League final.
A big concern for the Greeks, however, is that they are without captain and goal scorer Karagounis who is serving a one game ban after getting his second yellow card of the tournament against Russia. Either Grigoris Makos or Giorgos Fotakis are expected to deputise for the midfielder.
Germany will have Jerome Boateng back in the squad after he served a one game ban for the same thing against Denmark but Lars Bender will be looking to keep the place he took from Boateng after scoring the winner against the Danes on Sunday.
The two teams have only played each other twice – in the qualification for World Cup 2002 – Germany taking the spoils on both occasions. As it stands the Germans have better odds to win by 3 goals then the Greeks do to win. But Greece do have a history of upsetting the apple cart, they did win Euro 2004 against all the odds.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Germany