Powerful Germany Should Breeze Through Turkey Tie
If a depleted Turkey side manage to beat tournament favourites Germany in tonight’s European Championship semi-final in Basel, they will have pulled off one of the greatest miracles in the history of international football.It is unfortunate that the underdogs, who have previously performed stunning comebacks in this tournament against Switzerland, Czech Republic and Croatia, will be without so many key men in their biggest game since another semi-final appearance against Brazil in the World Cup of 2002.First-choice goalkeeper Volkan Demirel serves the second suspension of a two-match ban after his push on Jan Koller in the group-stage victory over Czech Republic, whilst Premiership players Tuncay Sanli and Emre also miss out through the same punishment. Nihat Kahveci, the scorer of two late goals which dramatically defeated the Czechs, another Emre, Servet Cetin and Tumer Metin are also injured, whilst another important figure Arda Turan is also banned.These absentees mean that coach Fatih Terim will only have 13 outfield players available for selection, while the determinded opposition Germany have almost their entire squad fit and ready, with only a tiny injury doubt lingering over midfielder Torsten Frings, who coach Joachim Low says should be ok to play after fracturing his rib.Without these tremendously serious suspensions and injuries Turkey would be tipped for a defeat in tonight’s fixture, but after suffering such blows their chances are almost gone before the referee’s whistle has blown. If less important players had been ruled out then maybe their glimmer of hope would be wider, but such is the lack of quality in their remaining group of players that achieving a place in the final seems frankly impossible to the outsider.But try telling that to the Turkey players themselves. They really don’t know when they are beaten, and their character and never-say-die attitude in this tournament must be praised immensely. They have only been ahead for about 9 minutes in all of their games put together so far, and they have ended up winning three out of four, so they will still be gunning for victory even if the Germans lead in the late stages in Basel this evening.This match will be a much tougher test than the final for Turkey, if they were to miraculously make it there, as they will have a large percentage of tonight’s absentees back were they to take on either Russia or Spain in Vienna on Sunday night.Germany’s world-class players should roll over the Turks quite easily in this semi-final though, and I am predicting a victory for them by three or four goals tonight. But at Euro 2008, nobody knows what will happen when Turkey are involved.Please feel free to write your feelings are predictions about tonight’s match below, or when the game is actually live and taking place, as well as noting your final thoughts when it is all over.