Germany captain Philipp Lahm is hoping for a semi-final with England after his side disposed of Greece 4-2 at Euro 2012.
The Germans were in formidable form in their quarter-final on Friday to reach the last four but Lahm admitted he would rather face England than Italy in the semi-finals.
“I think that Italy is a little stronger (than England) so we would like to play against England,” Lahm said.
“But it’s going to be hard and a big game in a semi-final at the Euros so we can only look forward to it.”
With Italy and England set to do battle on Sunday, Germany will have the benefit of an extra two days’ rest for the semi-final clash.
Lahm scored a rare goal for the opener against Greece in Joachim Loew’s revamped starting 11, with the likes of Miroslav Klose, Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle starting up front in favour of Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski.
“I don’t score lots of goals so it was time for me to score again,” he said.
Lahm said the performance was far from perfect but felt the result was never in doubt even after Georgios Samaras made it 1-1 after half-time for Greece.
“We expected them (Greece) to play exactly how they performed today,” he said.
“But then you have to take your chances. We had so many good chances in the first minutes and if we had taken them, the match would have been easier for us.
“So we made it unnecessarily hard for us.”
Midfielder Sami Khedira, who was also among the goals, believed Loew’s gamble playing three fresh players up front had paid off in Gdansk and said the ply had been discussed at length.
“There are days on which one player performs better and there are days on which the other player performs better,” Khedira said.
“We talked immediately after the game against Denmark (final group stage game).
“I talked with Joachim Loew about how to improve the game of Mesut Oezil and bring him more into the game.
“He had performed well, but there was always a little bit missing.
“With the changes we wanted to surprise the Greeks and I think all of the three new players did very well.”
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