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‘A true classic’

Lahm upbeat prior to Euro semi-final

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According to Philip Lahm, Germany's progress to the Euro 2012 semi-finals is no reason to relax. “The pressure is still on and we want to make the final. The positive tension will remain," said the captain on Sunday, the first full day off for the 23-strong squad since the start of the tournament. Confidence is running high after four victories in four matches so far, with Thursday's semi-final up next. “We're looking forward to a true classic," Lahm said.

The Bayern man reckons Bastian Schweinsteiger will have recovered from a minor injury to his right ankle in time for the last four clash. “Bastian openly reported the problem, but I have no concerns he won't be able to deliver the goods on Thursday," said Lahm, “the only question is what happens with his foot. Obviously, it's important that Bastian plays if he can."

Unable to explode

Schweinsteiger has recently suffered a string of problems with his ankle, and has been unable to train in the normal rhythm. “A few of my passes went astray against Greece, and that normally wouldn't happen to me," Schweinsteiger admitted in a newspaper interview on Sunday. Ligament damage to his right foot, originally sustained back in February, was still causing problems and restricting his movement, the player reported. “I'm lacking the power to explode," Schweinsteiger commented, “but I'm trying to help the team as far as I can."

The Munich star said he would have no complaints at all should boss Joachim Löw opt for another player in defensive midfield next Thursday. “If that's what the coach decides, I wouldn't have a problem with it," the midfielder insisted.

Organiser and orchestrator

However, it is unlikely to come to that, as Löw is a great believer in his chief midfield organiser. The Germany supremo demonstrated his faith by fielding the vice-captain against Greece, even though he had been unable to complete the team training schedule for a number of days beforehand.