It is the battle of the favourites and the underdogs on Friday evening as Bet365 report plenty of free bets and money on Joachim Loew’s side at short odds, as Germany and Greece go head to head in the second quarter-final of Euro 2012.
Greece have certainly been the surprise package of the tournament so far, much like they were when they became European Champions in 2004.
Inspired by manager Fernando Santos, they defeated Russia 1-0 in the final Group A game to progress to the knockout stages against the odds. It was a result that shocked many and delighted the travelling Greece fans.
They will know that they need to raise their game again for Friday’s clash with Germany of course, but they can be inspired by the events of eight years ago. Why should they fear anyone at this stage?
If the Greeks are to have any success they will need to stick to their game plan and hope they can grab a goal or two to give themselves a chance. Being competitive in the quarter-final against Germany would be achievement enough, but that doesn’t mean they want their Euro 2012 journey to end here.
They have been dealt a blow with inspirational skipper Giorgios Karagounis serving a one match ban after picking up his second yellow card of the tournament, and his place will most likely go to AEK Athens midfielder Grigoris Makos.
As for Germany, they are now the favourites to win the tournament and rightly so. They won all three of their group games to comfortably qualify for the knockout stages and now they will want to go all of the way.
With several players in-form and with plenty of major tournament knowhow, they could take some stopping in this tournament. It would certainly go down as the biggest shock of the tournament if they lost to Greece on Friday, but there may be a chink in the defensive armour with the impressive Jerome Boateng suspended.
Joachim Loew will not let his team be complacent though. He knows that the hard work starts now and that with knockout football, there are no second chances.
The Germans are renowned for ‘getting the job done’ and in Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez they have one of the players of the tournament. He scored twice as Germany beat the Netherlands and looks the most likely to unlock the Greek defence.
With Germany likely to do a lot of the early pressing, Greece will aim to stand firm in defence and soak up the pressure.
It will be a fascinating battle from 7.45pm tonight.