Greece vs. Germany: 5 Players to Watch in Euro 2012 Quarterfinal
Germany and Greece are facing off Friday in the second of the Euro 2012 quarterfinal matchups. Portugal and the Czech Republic kicked off the final eight of the tournament Thursday.
The Germans and Greeks have met eight previous times, with Germany holding an undefeated mark in the history of the series. As the only unbeaten team during the group stage, Germany will be a heavy, heavy favorite to continue that unblemished mark against Greece.
After escaping the "Group of Death," which included Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark, Germany is likely squaring off against its easiest opponent of the tournament in Greece.
However, Greece found the willpower to get past a favored Russian side to advance to the quarterfinal stage, so it could be premature to rule out any chance of another historic upset.
If Greece are to to pull off the upset, they'll have to do it without Giorgos Karagounis, their captain and goal scorer from the team's 1-0 win against Russia. He's suspended Friday for having accumulated too many yellow cards.
There is still plenty of firepower in this match, however. Most of it comes from the Germans, but Greece have a few players to watch.
Below, we breakdown the five players to watch on the pitch today.
Mario Gomez, Germany
Gomez is one of four players in Euro 2012 with three goals, tied with Mario Mandzukic, Alan Dzagoev and Cristiano Ronaldo for the goal-scoring lead. He's been one of the top players in this tournament thus far.
If the Germans score Friday, chances are good that it will be Gomez finding the back of the net. His three goals are more than half of Germany's total thus far (five).
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany
Schweinsteiger might be the best player on the pitch Friday.
Largely a wing player, Schweinsteiger can also float inside and has one of the best long-range shots of anyone in this tournament. He's also one of the Germans' best goal creators, as evidenced by his two assists thus far.
Kostas Katsouranis, Greece
The 33-year-old Katsouranis will take Greece's captain armband in place of Karagounis Friday. While more of a defensive midfielder, Katsouranis has the ability to move into the attacking third and make things happen in front of goal.
However, the Greeks are likely to pack it in and defend against the Germans, so don't expect many attacking opportunities.
Mesut Ozil, Germany
While sometimes frustratingly inconsistent, Ozil has frequently been the key that has opened up Master Locks for the Germans in this tournament. He's playing at a world-class level.
Ozil is so good at controlling the ball and finding the right flicks to open up space in the attacking third. He may not score a goal Friday, but you can expect a touch or two on any attack that results in a good look for the Germans.
Georgios Samaras, Greece
Back in October 2011, Samaras scored a volleyed goal against Croatia that helped Greece qualify for this tournament. Months later, the Greeks likely need another goal from Samaras if they are to advance past the quarterfinals.
Samaras has been in poor form through three games at Euro 2012, missing the target on several chances. In fact, zero of his four shots have been on the frame so far.
If Greece are to make a contest of it Friday, Samaras will likely need to be considerably more efficient upfront.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?