German coach Loew warns of Turkish threat
A full strength Germany will take on a markedly under strength Turkey in the first semifinal of Euro 2008 in Basle on Wednesday but after the upsets of the quarterfinals coach Joachim Loew is urging his men not to take victory for granted.
Loew has been at pains to stress that victory is not guaranteed for his German favourites, reported CNN.
"All teams in the semifinals have a certain class. I know Turkish players and the conditions there from my own experience," Loew told the Associated Press.
"They become euphoric, especially if things are going their way. They have national pride, very high morale and they play until the end, the very last minute. It will be very hard.
"I'll warn my players that Turks believe until the end that they can win the game."
Loew, whose team beat Portugal 3-2 in a five-goal thriller to reach the last four, has the luxury of a fully-fit squad with midfielder Torsten Frings recovered from a broken rib.
His Turkish counterpart Fath Terim has selection posers of an unwelcome type with up to nine first team regulars out through injury or suspension, an appeal against the suspension of first choice goalkeeper Volkan Demirel failing on Monday.
Recber Rustu, the hero of the penalty shootout win over Croatia to reach the last four, will deputize again.
At the other end, his fellow veteran keeper Jens Lehmann is promising he will "give his life" to make sure his possible international farewell does not end at the semifinal stage.
"For me this is the most important game. I don't want to go out again in the semifinals," the 38-year-old former Arsenal star told the Bild newspaper.
"As a player I can not promise a victory, only that I will push myself and give my life."
He added: "You know what I mean - my sporting life. My private life belongs to my family."
Underdogs Turkey have conjured up a series of last-gasp escapes with Semih Senturk scoring the equalizer against Croatia with the final kick of extra time before helping them to victory on penalties.
"They never give up," Loew said. "They always believe they can turn it around. Some people did not expect them to come back but they have incredible morale."
Senturk, who came on as a substitute against Croatia, is likely to start against the Germans with star striker Nihat Kahveci ruled out through a thigh injury.
"That goal gave the whole team a lot of confidence," Senturk told the Associated Press.
"But in the end, it's not important who scores the goals. It only matters that you win matches. We are determined to do that against Germany as well. I think they will be very cautious on Wednesday.
"We are proud of our success so far, but we definitely want to go one step further now."
Despite Turkish defiance, four-tme champions Germany will start as clear favorites to reach the final where the winners of the Spain -- Russia semifinal await in Vienna on Sunday.