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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sports

UEFA Euro 2008 Austria-Switzerland

Turkish dream in danger

Germany midfielder Torsten Frings (L) chases teammate Kevin Kuranyi (R) during a training session in Tenero on Tuesday. Germany take on Turkey in the first semifinal of the Euro 2008 in Basel today.Photo: AFP

Turkey's bid to beat Germany and reach the final of Euro 2008 is in danger of being wrecked by injuries and suspensions.

The Turkish team which faces Germany in the semifinal at St Jakob Park on Wednesday (1845 GMT) will be very different from the one that beat Croatia on penalties in Friday's quarterfinal in Vienna.

Turkey will definitely be without six players and possibly more depending on how they respond to treatment before kickoff.

“Of course having lots of injured players is hard but the players who fill their places will give their utmost,” forward Semih Senturk told a news conference on Monday.

Semih scored the last gasp extra-time equaliser in the win over Croatia and said their constant comebacks in the tournament boded well.

“I think it gives us more self-confidence. Germany will be more cautious because the winner gets to the final.”

Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who was red carded at the end of Turkey's dramatic last-gasp 3-2 win over Czech Republic on June 15 is out, serving the second game of his two-match suspension for that offence.

Defender Emre Asik and attacking midfielders Tuncay Sanli and Arda Turan are also suspended after picking up two yellow cards each.

Forward Nihat Kahveci, who scored twice in the win over the Czechs, has flown back to Spain for an operation on the thigh he injured late in the Croatia game.

Emre Gungor is also out of the tournament through injury.

Defender Servet Cetin is very doubtful with a knee problem and Tumer Metin is just as unlikely to play because of a groin complaint.

Midfielder Emre Belozoglu, who has not played since damaging his hamstring in Turkey's Group A opening loss to Portugal, is back in light training. A decision on the captain's fitness will be made just before kickoff.

In total contrast, Germany's preparations have gone smoothly.

Coach Joachim Loew will be back in the dugout after serving a one-match ban in the stands, and unlike Turkey coach Fatih Terim he has a full complement of fit players.

Loew, who has had two spells coaching in Turkey, faces the dilemma of whether to stick with a winning team -- and a devastating new formation -- or go back to first principles.

With Torsten Frings injured for the quarterfinal against Portugal, Loew took the bold decision to play a new 4-5-1 system with Simon Rolfes and Thomas Hitzlsperger as holding midfielders and Michael Ballack free to get forward as much as he could.

“I've always considered 4-4-2 my favourite formation but we did well with 4-5-1 against Portugal,” Loew said at a news conference on Monday.

“We just have to find the right way to unlock the Turkish defence. No matter what formation we play, it's important we get our running patterns and movement off the ball right. If we do that, the question of the formation is secondary.”

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