Hamit: collective spirit our strength

Germany take on Turkey tomorrow night in Basel and are now just one step away from the final of the European Championships. After a slow start, Germany coach Joachim Löw changed the team’s formation for the quarter final against Portugal, where they finally hit the form expected of them. However, one German native will hope that this performance was just a one-off and that it will be Turkey lining up in Vienna for the final on Sunday.

German-born Turk, Hamit Altintop, admits that his side are underdogs but believes they can draw upon their collective strength that has got them to this stage, despite the fact that the squad has been decimated through injury and suspension. “Germany are favourites but there is no reason why we can’t beat them,” Hamit told BBC sport. He added: “I’m not worried at all, our strength is our collective spirit, I’m sure we can progress to the final.”

Maybe Turkey do have an incredible team spirit but surely even they will find it difficult to break down the Germany team, especially with their limited attacking options. Attackers Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Nihat Kahveci will all miss tomorrow night’s semi final. Arda and Nihat have scored two goals each so far in the competition, with the only other goalscorer being Semih Senturk, also with two goals. He will almost certainly lead the line tomorrow and will get support from, amongst others, English- born Colin Kazim-Richards. Also talking to BBC sport, Kazim-Richards believes that England supporters will be egging on the Turks to knock out one of their biggest rivals. “It’s not only because I’m Turkish, I’m English as well so to play the Germans is incredible,” said the Fenerbache star. He went on to add: “If we beat them it’s a party for England too. I hope we can beat them, anything is possible as we have shown.”

With only thirteen available squad members, manager Fatih Terim admitted he may have to use third choice goalkeeper Tolgan Zengin as an outfield substitute. Mehmet Aurelio returns after his suspension but Tuncay Sanli, Arda Turan and Emre Asik are all suspended after picking up two yellow cards during the competition. Volkan Demirel’s appeal against his two match ban has been upheld, so Rustu Recber will keep his place in goal.

Turkey were extremely defensive and frustrated Croatia when they met on Friday night, making the match pretty boring to watch for the neutrals (until the game burst into life with one minute of injury time remaining). We should expect similar tactics from them when they line up against Germany in Basel. Colin Kazim-Richards believes that England supporters will party if Germany are knocked out by his adopted nation tomorrow night but surely any sane England supporter would rather see Germany in the final, rather than Turkey, who will likely play for penalties knowing it will be their best chance to win the match.

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