Created on 19-06-2012 at 00:00 AM
Germany have won their last 13 competitive matches, 10 in qualifying and three actually at Euro 2012. The plan is to extend the run to 16 games, which would mean a first major trophy for the three-time European champions since 1996. “Reaching the quarter-finals was only an initial target," said coach Joachim Löw on Tuesday.
Philipp Lahm and company now face Greece in Gdansk on Friday in the first round of knockout matches. “We're looking forward to the quarter-finals and we’re well prepared," the coach continued. The Germans resumed training on Tuesday, although Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mezut Ozil and Lars Bender sat out the team session. “Bastian picked up a knock against Denmark. His ankle hurts," Löw reported, “we've taken a purely precautionary measure, but in normal circumstances, all three will resume team training on Wednesday."
Müller: Only tough opponents so far
Friday's starting line-up is again likely to feature a sizeable Bayern contingent. Manuel Neuer, Lahm, Holger Badstuber, Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez have started all three matches to date, with Jerome Boateng only missing out against the Danes due to suspension. Toni Kroos has been used as a late substitute.
Müller believes things are going well for the FCB group. “It's working out for those of us from Bayern. Everyone is making a contribution," the Munich youth product said. “But the entire squad is totally satisfied with how we've played so far." Some commentators feel Germany have fallen short of the thrilling standards set at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but Müller reckoned that was due to the quality of the opposition: “Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark were tough nuts to crack."