Germany can kill two birds with
one stone by winning their final Euro 2012 Group B game against
Denmark - clinching top spot and setting up a quarter-final at
their home base in Gdansk.
The Germans are in the driving seat after edging Netherlands
2-1 on Wednesday to move on to six points with two wins from two
matches and are just one point away from winning the group.
A victory against the Danes, who have three points along
with Portugal, in Lviv on June 17 would ensure they would play
the second team from Group A in a last-eight clash in Gdansk, a
stone's throw their team hotel in the lush suburb of Oliwa.
"Winning the group will be very important because we would
be staying in Gdansk for our quarter-final match," said Germany
coach Joachim Low. "That would be an advantage for us."
Germany play all their group games in Ukraine, meaning they
are travelling several thousand miles from their Baltic sea base
in the Polish port city.
Wednesday's win over old rivals Netherlands in Kharkiv was
played in hot and humid conditions, draining Low's players.
"The temperatures were extreme," he said. "It was an intense
game and there were phases where both teams were robbed of any
The three-time European champions are looking for their
first title victory since 1996.
"Each win gives us a push. We took the second step but we
also want to win against Denmark. That is what we demand from
us," said midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
'Schweini' is finding top form after a thigh injury in May
and a broken collar bone and ankle problem earlier this year.
Low said he would not reshuffle his team against the Danes
but he must replace right-back Jerome Boateng, who is suspended
for the final group match following a booking on Wednesday.
"There are options for that. Philipp Lahm could
return to the right and I would bring in Marcel Schmelzer on the
left. Lars Bender could also play on the right," said the
"We still need points. We cannot rely on Portugal and
Netherlands drawing," said Low. "That is why I will not make
many changes apart from maybe the odd player who could need a
rest so that, if we make it, they will be fresh for the last
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