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Our Freund at the Euros!

Lane legend Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on Euro 2008....

Lane legend Steffen Freund - European Championship winner with Germany in 1996 - offers his expert opinion to Spurs fans on Euro 2008....

"HELLO again to all you Spurs fans - I hope you are enjoying the tournament!

"Well, I don't want to say 'I told you so' can always rely on Germany to come through in tournament football.

"What impressed me though in the quarter-final against Portugal was that the coach Joachim Low changed the system from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 and it worked perfectly.

"Germany didn't play well against Croatia in the group stages and the win against Austria to qualify for the quarter-finals wasn't much better, but the change of system meant there was another player in the midfield and the team therefore looked more solid. That was important, especially against a team like Portugal, so talented on the ball.

"When you reach the quarter-finals, things change mentally. Portugal had played superbly in their first two group games, changed the team for their last game against Switzerland, lost it and then had to play Germany. They were favourites but Germany are so mentally strong and when they are solid as a team, you know they can go on to win these matches.

"I have to say I was surprised Turkey beat Croatia. I was so impressed with Croatia against Germany and to be fair, they were the better team in the quarter-final but it must have been so difficult to pick themselves up after conceding that late equaliser in extra time.

"They played all the football, controlled possession and created most of the chances but Turkey clearly have that never-say-die spirit.

"Without question, Germany are now favourites for the semi-final, so the situation changes again after Portugal were favourites for last week's quarter-final. Germany have all the experience though and I expect them to progress to the final.

"Russia were absolutely top-class in their quarter-final against Holland. The one and two-touch football was fantastic but they were also very solid defensively.

"That quarter-final could easily have been the final, it was a great match and now they have to have a real chance against Spain.

"I was delighted that Spain beat Italy in the last of the quarter-finals on Sunday. Spain tried to win the game, tried to play their football whereas Italy are always so solid but only react to the opponent, for instance, if they make a mistake they always seem to capitalise. For me, that's not enough in modern football.

"Looking at the semi-finals, I would love to see Germany and Spain get through and face each other in Sunday's final - we'll see what happens this week!"


Germany v Turkey, Basel, Wednesday June 25, 7.45pm.

Spain v Russia, Vienna, Thursday June 26, 7.45pm.