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Germany kept on their toes

Published: Friday 15 June 2012, 13.34CET
Germany are the only side to win their first two games but with the likes of André Schürrle and Mario Götze in the wings nobody's position is safe – even 99-cap man Lukas Podolski.
by Steffen Potter
from Gdansk
 
Published: Friday 15 June 2012, 13.34CET

Germany kept on their toes

Germany are the only side to win their first two games but with the likes of André Schürrle and Mario Götze in the wings nobody's position is safe – even 99-cap man Lukas Podolski.

There is a man who could become only the seventh player to reach a century of caps for Germany/West Germany against Denmark on Sunday. He has scored 43 goals in 99 international matches so far and could go on for years – he turned 27 on the day Joachim Löw's squad arrived in Gdansk. The man is Lukas Podolski, but such is Germany's strength, his place in the side is not guaranteed.

©Getty Images

Lukas Podolski is set for his 100th cap

Germany are the only side so far at UEFA EURO 2012 to start with back-to-back wins (Ukraine could match them against France this evening), but they are not ready to rest on their laurels. Podolski in particular may be looking over his shoulder a little nervously, with the likes of André Schürrle, Marco Reus and Mario Götze all waiting impatiently in the wings.

Podolski, who joins Arsenal FC after this tournament, has struggled to recapture the heights of the 2006 FIFA World Cup when he struck three times as he and Miroslav Klose formed a prolific partnership in attack. Yet since he switched to the left in a 4-2-3-1 formation in the UEFA EURO 2008 quarter-final against Portugal, he has not had the same impact.

©Getty Images

Marco Reus and Mario Götze in training this week

The man with the powerful left foot has improved defensively but is not always involved in the crisp build-up play Germany have thrived on over the past four years. The presence of Schürrle, Reus and Götze in the squad means added pressure but Podolski, a player with a good sense of occasion, may thrive on that – Denmark be warned.

Last updated: 22/06/12 8.44CET

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