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Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightEuro 2012: Germany...

Euro 2012: Germany take on Portugal in first top clash

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Euro 2012: Germany take on Portugal in first top clash
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Lviv (Ukraine): Germany will resume their long-standing rivalry against Portugal in their opening Group B match at the European Championship Saturday when the two traditional powers are expected to bring in the first top clash of the tournament.

The two teams are going to play against each other for the 17th time. In the previous records, Germany have an upper hand with eight wins, five draws and three defeats.

In their last two high-profile meetings in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008 finals, Germany won both and will look to complete the hat-trick winning streak against the opponent at Lviv Arena Saturday night, reported Xinhua.

Boosted by their young guns, Germany are tipped as one of the favourites to lift the trophy for the fourth time. They are drawn into the toughest group along with Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark.

With the inclusion of some new faces, Germany are the youngest squad among the 16 finalists.

Mesut Oezil, Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger were Germany's midfield backbone in South Africa two years ago, who effectively linked the back four with the forwards and wingers.

But they are not sure to feature together on Saturday's big match as the head coach Joachim Loew always surprises his opponent in the starting 11 with unexpected adjustments.

Mario Goetze, the leading role in Dortmund, may get a chance in his first international tournament to test Portugal defenders with his good visions and ability to create space.

Portugal are three games without a win in 2012 and will need to learn from the last two defeats against the Germans.

Led by one of the best players in world, Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal will look to score goals after being goalless in three of their last five games.

IANS

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