Jens Lehmann said he expects Germany to defeat Greece in Friday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final clash.
Joachim Loew’s side are widely viewed as the favourites to reach the last four after an impressive campaign in the group stage in which they amassed a perfect nine points from three matches.
But while the former Germany international acknowledged the role that the economic recession in Greece would play in terms of motivation for the Euro 2004 runners-up, Lehmann still cannot see the Greeks producing a shock.
“I am expecting the Greeks to pose us a problem for the first time in years,” the 42-year-old told Goal.com.
“They did brilliantly on the pitch by reaching the quarter-finals. Their most important player, Giorgos Karagounis, will be missing, though, so I am still optimistic of (Germany) progressing.
“They do not have enough quality to deny us a semi-final spot, but they will be highly motivated for this game, because in Greece, we Germans are seen as the main culprits for the problems that exist in their country.”
Greece finished second in Group A, ahead of Russia based on their head-to-head record, and the former Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund custodian admitted he has been left bewildered by Dick Advocaat’s ‘erratic’ side.
“Elsewhere, I was surprised to see the Russians being eliminated,” Lehmann added.
“This confirmed my belief that they fail to deliver, despite playing some great football at some points in the tournament.
“I have played with some great Russian footballers, and I am yet to find an explanation for their erratic performances, even though I have often wondered why.”
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