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Friedrich: Germany are favourites

Germany left-back Arne Friedrich knows that, unlike before the Portugal game, the Mannschaft are tipped to beat Turkey when they return to Basel next week.

Arne Friedrich knows Germany's status has been elevated
Arne Friedrich knows Germany's status has been elevated ©Getty Images

A 2-1 group defeat by Croatia had raised doubts about Germany's ability to lift a fourth European title but their clinical performance against Portugal moved them back up the pundits' pecking order. The Turkey team they meet next Wednesday have needed three late fightbacks to save their campaign – the latest being against Croatia on Friday – and now have four players suspended and others injured.

"The game against Portugal was something very special and a very strong display by the whole team," said Friedrich. "Every player works hard to be involved in huge games like that. It was a lot of fun to play in front of such a big crowd and we are delighted at the moment because not many people believed we could win that match. We are now favourites again going into the semi-final and we all know that."

Turkish celebrations
That does not mean that the opposition will lack support, particularly among the estimated two million people with Turkish roots in Germany. "I telephoned my girlfriend in Berlin and she said the celebrations of the Turkish fans in the streets on Friday night were unbelievable," the 29-year-old said. "On Wednesday there will be a very special festival of football in Germany and hopefully, at the end, our fans will have something to celebrate."

The Hertha BSC Berlin captain missed the incredible climax where, having conceded a 119th-minute goal, Turkey equalised in stoppage time of extra time. "We watched the game together as a team in the hotel lobby and in the 120th minute I decided to make my way back to my room," Friedrich said. "I was already on the stairs when I heard the cheer and I couldn't believe my ears. This Turkish team is willing to battle until the final whistle. That can be a great danger."

Good result
Still, Friedrich admits he got the result he wanted in Vienna. "A number of our players were hoping to take revenge on Croatia but I was hoping to get Turkey," he explained. "I think they will suit us and they weren't always convincing in the match against Croatia. Our team are ready, I am in perfect shape and I'm looking forward to the semi-final on Wednesday."