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European Qualifiers Group F

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European Qualifiers Group F

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Germany boss Joachim Low has played down comparisons between Greece and Chelsea - and has backed his team to win their Euro 2012 quarter-final.

Last Updated: 21/06/12 at 21:46 Post Comment

Low: Convinced Germany will win

Low: Convinced Germany will win

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It has been suggested by the German media that Greece will provide a test similar to the one Bayern Munich faced in last month's Champions League final, when Roberto di Matteo's Blues prevailed on penalties at the Allianz Arena.

Low was not giving much credence to such comparisons on Thursday, but nevertheless warned his side to be on their guard.

"I have heard a few times that they are the Chelsea of the Mediterranean, but it is not that way," he said.

"Greece play good combination football. Their defence is strong, they are strong in the tackle and defending and countering is in their blood.

"They have been playing that way for years. It was similar or practically the same in 2004 [when they became European champions in Portugal].

"They get written off sometimes, but then they are always there. But anyway, Chelsea play a different football to what we saw in the final or semi-finals of the Champions League."

Bayern succumbed to the Blues on spot-kicks after spending much of the 120 minutes camped in their opponents' half in the Munich final.

Low expects it to be a similar story in Gdansk on Friday, although he is confident there will be a more positive outcome from a German perspective.

"Logically we are favourites, but we can deal with that," he said.

"But remember - knockout games have their own character so it won't be the case that the favourite automatically reaches the next round.

"We saw that in the group when Russia were the big favourites and we have all seen what happened.

"But if we show all of our inner strength and belief, then we are strong enough to beat the Greeks of course. I am convinced we will win."

Greece coach Santos is not ignoring that fact either, but he says nothing can be taken for granted in football.

"If we see it as a David and Goliath task, then this is good for us because we all know that Goliath lost," he said.

"They are a big team and usually get to the semi-finals and we are talking about a very consistent nation.

"But I am willing to accept the role of David, just as long as history repeats itself."

It is not the first time Greece have revelled in the role of underdogs.

They provided arguably the biggest shock of Euro 2012 so far by jumping from the foot of their group to second with a 1-0 win over Russia in their final pool game, and their unexpected title triumph at Euro 2004 is another indication of how dangerous the Greeks can be.

"I would like to seize this opportunity to say what an inspiration for us the 2004 success is," Santos said.

"We showed great resolution and strength and we were written off before that tournament, but we still reached the final and won the cup.

"That should be a source of inspiration for us this time."

Santos is not contemplating packing his bags to return home after tomorrow's quarter-finals either.

"I think there is no coach present here who has not imagined reaching the final," he said.

"If I don't have this aspiration or dream, then that will be the moment when I will quit coaching or start fishing, or just go on holiday."

Germany welcome Jerome Boateng back into their starting XI after he missed the 2-1 win over Denmark due to suspension.

Lars Bender should therefore return to the bench with no other changes expected to the Germany starting XI from their games so far.

Santos presented the same players at the press conference today who took to the podium ahead of the Russia game and he is hoping that "will be a good omen" as he prepares to present the same XI players on the field too.

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