June 17, 2012
Denmark v Germany: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
Germany coach Joachim Low is facing the dilemma of whether to rotate his squad or not ahead of their final Euro 2012 Group B encounter with Denmark tomorrow.
Despite winning their first two group matches, Germany still need a point to secure their place in the last eight and Low must decide whether to take the risk of making a few changes or stick with a winning side.
He must make one enforced change with the suspended Jerome Boateng unavailable, and both Benedikt Howedes and Lars Bender are candidates to replace him, but that may not be the only change to the side which defeated Portugal 1-0 and Holland 2-1.
"I know and we all know that this game is going to be incredibly difficult and I am not going to just rest players - you don't rest players in a game in which there so much at stake,'' Low said.
"If I do decide to take somebody out or bring somebody in, then I do it for one reason and that is that the player coming in is better suited for our style of play.
"I will definitely not be taking anybody out to give them a rest for future games.
"If I do change anything, then it will be because I am convinced it is for the good of the team.''
Not only would changing a successful side potentially increase the risk of Germany losing tomorrow, it could also upset the momentum of the side.
And Low believes there will be a chance later in the tournament for the players who have sat on the bench so far to get involved.
"We have a great bench and, if we go through, then we are going to need the players, as we always have done,'' he said.
"I can see ambitious players who want to play. I would not read too much into them being unhappy not to be playing - I would be more concerned if they were happy with the situation.''
Low himself is not happy with the general opinion, at least before Euro 2012 started, that Denmark were the weakest link in Group B.
"Anybody who branded them as outsiders before the tournament was wrong,'' he said.
"Our scouting department told us that Denmark would play a big role so we are aware of the danger and must not underestimate them.''
Denmark's scouting department will not have needed any help in determining that the Germans are one of the favourites in the tournament, but their coach Morten Olsen, who has yet to be beaten by Germany, still fancies his side's chances.
"We go into the game hopeful of going through and it can't get more exciting than this,'' he said.
"Nothing is impossible and we will be going out to win.
"We have experienced both ends of the emotional spectrum in recent weeks - one euphoric and one downbeat. We are keen to experience the first one again.''
Denmark know that a win would take them through to the quarter-finals, whereas a draw could also be enough depending on the result of Portugal's game with Holland.
Defender William Kvist, who plies his trade in the Bundesliga with Stuttgart, is aware Euro 2012 could still end in failure, though.
"We are happy with the way we have played against some of the biggest nations in the world, but we need a result otherwise it will not be a success if we don't go through,'' he said.
"We players love this, it is what you hope for in your career to be involved in games like this.
"We have not packed our bags yet - we want to stay.''
Dennis Rommedahl is unavailable for Denmark due to injury while Niki Zimling is also a doubt and will face a late fitness test.
Olsen would not reveal who would step in as replacements, though, saying: "I have 23 players in the squad and it depends on who we feel is right for this game.
"There are pros and cons to every decision. ''No player is perfect, it is about finding the perfect blend of players."