After a lacklustre performance against the co-hosts Switzerland, Chelsea bound coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will bring back the star names for Portugal as they look to beat Germany in the quarter finals at St. Jakob-Park in Basle.
Scolari has confirmed he will make eight changes to the side that lost to the Swiss, bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo – who was rumoured to miss out on the game due to a calf problem – Deco, Joao Mountinho, Ricardo Carvalho, Jose Bosingwa, Armando Petit, Simao, and Nuno Gomes.
Germany have been dealt a majorÂ blow ahead of the match, as coach Joachim Low will not be allowed to make any contact with his squad when they arrive at St. Jakob-Park, due to a one match suspension given to him by Uefa for verbally assaulting fourth official Damir Skomina of SloveniaÂ in the game against Austria.
Low will nowÂ have watch his team from the stands in the game against Portugal, as he is not allowed in the techinal area or tunnel, and will not be allowed in the players’ dressing room. His assistant, Hans-Dieter Flick, will take the coaching responsibilties for the game.
Both Lukas Podolski and Torsten FringsÂ are major doubtsÂ for the Germans ahead ofÂ the game, afterÂ getting injured in the match against Austria. Podolski was forced off due to a calf problem, and Frings broke a rib, but battled onÂ to last the full 90 minutes.
Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger is available again after his red card in Germany’s clash with Group B winners Croatia, while Vfb Stuttgart’s new signing Jens Lehmann and Chelsea’s Michael Ballack are one booking away from suspension.
The playing surfaceÂ at St.Jakob-Park has caused controversy ahead of tonight’s quarter-final, as many people have questioned the quality of the patchwork pitchÂ after it was hastily relaid, due to the damage caused to itÂ by the terrible weather conditions that plauged Switzerland when they encountered Turkey in the 2nd Matchday of Group A.
In 15 meetings between Portugal and Germany, Germany haveÂ sevenÂ victoriesÂ compared to Portugal’s three victories.
In their last encounter, hostsÂ Germany beat the Portuguese 3-1 in the 3rd place play-off at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Portugal’s last win over the GermansÂ came 8 years ago, back in Euro 2000, where a Sergio Conceicao hat-trick gave the Portuguese a 3-0 win in the group stages.
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