With Germany's next fixture against Croatia still two days away, coach Joachim Löw has been taking time out to assess the finals as a whole and says: "We have had everything."
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'We have had everything'
Sunday's 2-0 Group B win gave Germany hope of reaching the quarter-finals with a match to spare, as they take on Croatia on Thursday, but until then the camp have been enjoying the action from elsewhere in Austria and Switzerland. "We have seen a couple of good games at this tournament, and of course we followed the match between Italy and the Netherlands," Löw said. "There have been wins by the favourites, the downfalls of other favourites and unlucky losses by the co-hosts – we have had everything. But I refuse to say who the favourites are yet, it is too early."
'Exciting and close'
That, for Löw, is because there is little between the 16 finalists. "The difference between a good and a very good team at this tournament is pretty minimal," he said. "Every game has been exciting and close. Whoever wants to win this tournament will have to always make the right decisions at the right times."
Ever the man of business, Löw is working hard to prepare his side for Thursday's return to Klagenfurt and will decide on his lineup tomorrow. "We will talk with [chief scout] Urs Siegentaler, who has watched Croatia for us," Löw said. "And based on this information, we will look at our starting XI. But this will not be easy because we have 23 healthy players and some of the boys who did not play in the first game are pushing hard in practice." Armed with intelligence on Croatia after their 1-0 defeat of Austria, Löw mused: "They are very ambitious with excellent individual players. They are incredibly well-drilled. But we know some of them from the Bundesliga and that will surely help us. It will be difficult though."