Euro 2008 Semifinal Preview Turkey vs. Germany
Game Time: Wednesday, 2:45 pm Eastern on ESPN
If Turkey is able to win against Germany in the Soccer semifinals of Euro 2008 it will be considered a monumental accomplishment. Turkey will be without six players and possibly more in Wednesday’s match. “Of course having lots of injured players is hard but the players who fill their places will give their utmost,” Turkey forward Semih Senturk said. Turkey will be without goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who was given a red card at the end of Turkey’s win over the Czech Republic and is serving the second game of his two-game suspension. Defender Emre Asik is out and midfielders Tuncay Sanli and Arda Turan are also suspended after picking up two yellow cards each. In addition to the suspensions, Turkey will be without forward Nihat Kahveci who is out with a thigh injury. He scored twice in the win over the Czechs. Emre Gungor is also out with an injury and Servet Cetin and Tumer Metin are doubtful. The only positive is that captain Emre Belozoglu might have a chance to play but that decision won’t be made until just before the match begins.
Germany is in great shape on the other side. Coach Joachim Loew has everyone at his disposal for Wednesday’s match. Loew’s only decision will be which formation to use. “I've always considered 4-4-2 my favorite formation but we did well with 4-5-1 against Portugal,” Loew said, “We just have to find the right way to unlock the Turkish defense. No matter what formation we play, it's important we get our running patterns and movement off the ball right. If we do that, the question of the formation is secondary.”
Germany has reached either the semifinals or the final of the European Championships a total of seven times. Since Germany unified, the teams have met a total of four times. Turkey won the first two matches by identical 1-0 scores. The third match was a scoreless draw while the fourth match saw Turkey defeat Germany by a score of 2-1 in Istanbul in a friendly. Before unification West Germany dominated Turkey, winning 10 times, losing once and drawing twice.
The key player on Wednesday could be Germany’s Michael Ballack. He has looked like the best player in Euro 2008 at times and could be the difference against Turkey.
Pick: Turkey had a great run but with so many injuries and a dominant German team, Germany advances.
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