Greece's qualification is perhaps the biggest surprise, what with their opener against Poland where they were to be found one nil down and with only ten men on the pitch, quite a turnaround then to see them beating group favourites Russia in the last game with a goal from captain, and now joint most capped player, Giorgos Karagounis. It is that kind of fighting spirit, akin to 2004, that they will need to show again if they are to have any chance against Germany. Starting Salpingdis would seem like a good idea given the impact he made in the Poland game, Samaras will also need to pick up his game, he has shown glimpses of his talent, but not enough as of yet. Young defender Papadopoulos has been one of the standout players, and he will need to be at his very best to handle the in form Mario Gomez.
Germany will be everyone’s favourites to progress to the semi-finals, they comfortably won their group and don’t look to have hit top gear as of yet which will be a worrying sign for the rest of the teams left in the competition. They have a stellar midfield, Bastien Schwiensteiger as ever has been excellent, and both Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil look to have grown immeasurably in their two years at Real Madrid since the World Cup. Mario Gomez has a real point to prove it seems, after the disappointment of the Champions League final, and criticism from some factions of the German press, he is in sparking form with three goals so far. Mats Hummels at centre back will have been a revelation to many viewers, comfortable on the ball, a great range of passing and great positioning being the hallmarks of his game, off the back of winning the double with Dortmund his confidence will be sky high. It is hard to see anything other than a comfortable German win in this one.
Predicted result: Germany 3-0 Greece