We’re getting closer to the end now as the semi finals stage begins with Wednesday’s clash between Germany and Turkey.
The Germans, who are widely considered favorites for this match and by many even for the tournament victory, have had an up-and-down tournament so far.
After a win over Poland, Joachim LÃƒÂ¶w’s men crashed to a defeat by Croatia. A narrow victory over Austria did earn them a spot in the quarter finals.
It was then that Germany truly began to show skills as Portugal were brushed aside 3-2. Man of the match was undoubtedly Bastian Schweinsteiger.
It should be expected that ‘Schweini’ will again have the task of leading his team to a victory as captain Michael Ballack is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
Ballack himself expects a different kind of game this time: “We have some options. On the one side, our system against Portugal worked very well, but on the other, Turkey are a very different team from the Portuguese. They will play more defensively. I expect a game in which we will at least have a lot more possession.”
Turkey have been this tournament’s come-back kings. After a defeat by Portugal, the Turks went on to save themselves in three consecutive matches by scoring in one of the last minutes.
Against Croatia in the quarter finals, Fatih Terim’s side even conceded a goal in the 118th minute only to score back in the 122nd and win on penalties.
But Germany will be Turkey’s toughest task up til now. Not only because of a supposed difference in quality, but mostly the lack of available players.
With a bit of bad luck, Terim will have only 14 players to choose from. This excludes star player Nihat Kahveci, who injured himself in the match with Croatia.
Turkey tried to limit the damage by asking UEFA to reduce goalkeeper Volkan Demirel’s suspension to only one match but the request was denied.
Reserve goalkeeper Tolga Zengin has even been told to keep in mind that he might have to come on as field player on Wednesday.
In their last meeting, a friendly match played in Turkey, the home side earned a 2-1 victory. In fact, the last time that Germany beat Turkey was more than sixteen years ago.
The match will be played at Basel’s St. Jakob-Park at 20:45 local time, and the referee will be Swiss Massimo Busacca.
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