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"We just can't wait to get started," was how versatile midfielder Linda Bresonik summed up the mood in the Germany camp ahead of their UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2009™ curtain-raiser against Norway in Tampere.
With months of preparation and anticipation almost over, and the tension reaching its zenith, Bresonik gave uefa.com an exclusive insight into her side's preparations. The UEFA Women's Cup winner is normally accustomed to forming a defensive midfield duo with Simone Laudehr, but her FCR 2001 Duisburg teammate is likely to miss the opener due to a pulled ligament in her right knee. Despite that blow, however, Bresonik is confident her country are well-placed to begin their title defence with victory. "We have a pretty good feeling in general and I also feel in good condition personally," she explained.
The 25-year-old possesses a versatility valued highly by coach Silvia Neid, who has praised her ability to operate "also as left or right-back", but since creative spark Renate Lingor retired after the Olympics in Beijing, her services have most commonly been required in more central areas. Indeed, Laudehr's probable absence has only increased the burden on Bresonik to make an impact against Norway, and the Essen native is aware of just how tough a task Germany face. "It's going to be a very hard-fought match between two strong teams and I expect a very even contest," she said.
Germany have spent the bulk of the past two months locked away in their pre-tournament training camp, and Bresonik believes Germany's attention to detail is a key component of their success on the international stage. "I wouldn't say we are better prepared than for other tournaments as we are always well-prepared," she explained. "It doesn't make a difference if it's a World Cup, the Olympics or a European Championship. The main thing is we are all in good shape and everything's fine."
Given Bresonik's estimation of the team they defeated in the 2005 final and the last four of the 2007 FIFA World Cup, Germany will certainly need to be in excellent shape to come out on top at Tampere Stadium. "Personally, I see Norway among the favourites to win the tournament," she said. "Even if they've changed their tactical formation a little bit in switching from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2. We had a scout in Sweden last week to watch the game between them and Norway and we have already watched some video footage – and I am sure our win over them at the 2007 World Cup is still on their minds."
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