L'VIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09: Mario Gomez of Germany is replaced by Miroslav Klose of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Lviv on June 9, 2012 in L'viv, Ukraine. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Germany vs. Greece in the quarter-finals of the 2012 European Championships. Germany comes in having won all of their Group Stage matches - in fact, I think Die Nationalelf are on a 14-match win streak in all competitive matches. Of course, it only takes one blunder to send us home at this point.
Greece were thought of as the also-rans in Group A until the closing minutes of the stage. But a fluke goal at the end of the first half combined with a Czech Republic win saw them wriggle through to the quarters. They're prepared to play a mostly defensive style, and it will take a lot to break them down.As reported by Kicker, and capably passed along by Grudnik, the word on the street has Klose, Shcuerrle, and Reus starting today. It's definitely time for some squad rotation, especially with so many talented guys on the roster. Klose is always dangerous and, despite Gomez's great form, is a very capable replacement. I do wonder about sitting Mueller on the bench, though. If the offense struggles, expect Mueller and/or Gomez to get in early in the second half.
In the back line, it doesn't seem that any major changes will take place. Lahm will stay at the left corner, with Hummels and Badstuber at CB. Boateng is back from suspension; he could either come back at RB, or Bender - who played very well in the win over Denmark, could remain there. Badstuber is one yellow away from a suspension. But if he gets through this match without one, his cards (along with everyone else's) are wiped clean.
For Greece, Giorgos Karagounis, the captain and leader, will be out with a suspension of his own. But the important question for today is the Greek defense. They've looked awful at times, especially in the first few minutes of the Czech match, when they were torn to ribbons by an offense that wasn't even that good. But in the last half of the Russia match, they capably pulled off their "9 men behind the ball" strategy, and frustrated the Russians.
Back after the match with a recap and video highlights. D, DUA!