Loew wants killer touch v Greek survival artists

Reuters, Thursday 21 Jun 2012

Germany will not get a flurry of chances against Greece in Friday's Euro 2012 quarter-final and will need to be lethal with the few that come their way against a "granite" defense, coach Joachim Loew said on Thursday

Joachim Loew
German coach Joachim Loew kicks the ball during a training session of Germany (Photo: AP)

The Germans go into the match on the back of 14 consecutive competitive victories stretching back to the 2010 World Cup.

Loew, however, said the odds-on favorites would need to work hard against a team he called "survival artists" because of what he said was their never-say-die attitude.

"It will be very important to use the few chances we will get with a killer instinct," said the 52-year-old. "We will crash into a granite block with their defense but I am sure we will get out chances if we work hard."

"It will be a tight game because the Greeks are not easy to break apart. They have their own style of play. It is in their blood, a tight defense and strong counter-attacks."

"We keep writing them off but they are always there. They are... survival artists."

Loew, who called his team the "small favorites" for the title said they were widely expected to reach the last four.

"Yes, it is clear we are the favorites but knockout matches have a character of their own. Look at what happened to Russia," he said of Greece's surprise 1-0 win over the Russians that eliminated the Group A favorites.

"When the game starts it has absolutely no significance."

Loew has a full squad to choose from with midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has trained less than the other players for the past two days due to some pain in his ankle, back fit.

"Bastian will be ready to play. Today he will also complete the final training."
 

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