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Germany secrets not safe from Greece

Ahead of a UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final against Germany, Greece are looking to garner crucial information they feel could boost their chances of reaching the last four.

Giannis Maniatis is tapping into his team-mates' knowledge of Germany
Giannis Maniatis is tapping into his team-mates' knowledge of Germany ©AFP/Getty Images

As they ready themselves for their UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final against Germany, Greece's Giannis Maniatis and Grigoris Makos say the 2004 European champions will be looking to profit from inside information.

With team-mates Kyriakos Papadopoulos at FC Schalke 04, Sokratis Papastathopoulos on the books of SV Werder Bremen and Kostas Fortounis playing his club football with 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Maniatis believes Greece have plenty of important insight to help them prepare for the last-eight encounter in Gdansk.

"We talk a lot with our team-mates who play, or have played, in Germany," the Olympiacos FC defensive midfielder explained. "They know more things about our rivals and can give us a few pointers about their strong and weak points."

Greece surprised many by eliminating Russia, one of the pre-tournament favourites, with a 1-0 victory in the sides' final Group A game in Warsaw. Fernando Santos's men are now keen to cause another upset in Poland against a Germany team that has won all 13 of its matches since the start of qualifying.

"We are playing against one of the best teams at EURO 2012 and there is no doubt that Germany are the favourites in this quarter-final," Maniatis, 25, said. "We gave it our all in the match against Russia and qualified, which was a surprise for many.

"We believed in ourselves and that's why we are here today. We will do the same on Friday. We respect Germany but we do not fear them. We are here to fight for 90 minutes. After the final whistle, we will see what we have accomplished."

AEK Athens FC midfielder Makos shares his colleague's opinion, saying: "We are always considered underdogs, no matter who we play. We have achieved a great feat and are still in Poland, which is what we set out to do. The start of Friday's game will be very important and will dictate how things unfold."

Should the fixture at the Arena Gdansk go to penalties, Greece may feel some slight concern having missed their last three spot kicks. Giorgos Samaras and Kostas Katsouranis both failed against Armenia on 31 May in the side's last friendly before UEFA EURO 2012, while captain Giorgos Karagounis squandered a penalty versus Poland in the tournament opener.

"We've missed three penalties in a row, but will score the next ones," Maniatis declared, before Makos added light-heartedly: "We missed them on purpose, to throw our rivals off."