GDANSK, Poland (AFP) –
Germany coach Joachim Loew pulled a triple surprise ahead of Friday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final against Greece by leaving out star players Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller.
Loew opted to bring in 34-year-old Lazio striker Miroslav Klose, who wins his 120th cap and with 63 goals he is five short of Germany’s record, for Gomez, the tournament’s joint top-scorer with three goals in three games.
Borussia Dortmund-bound Marco Reus comes in for Bayern Munich’s Mueller for his first appearance at Euro 2012 and will win only his seventh cap for Germany.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Andre Schuerrle has been Podolski’s understudy for the last year and finally starts at the expense of the former Cologne striker, who will join Arsenal after Euro 2012.
Greece coach Fernando Santos brought in Grigoris Makos for suspended captain Giorgos Karagounis, who scored the winning goal against Russia which put the Euro 2004 winners in the last eight.
PAOK striker Dimitris Salpingidis starts as the lone striker with 32-year-old Samsunspor veteran Fanis Gekas on the bench.
Midfielder Kostas Katsouranis captains the Greeks in Karagounis’ absence.
Starting line-ups for the Euro 2012 quarter-final between Germany and Greece at Arena Gdansk:
Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm (capt), Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng; Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Marco Reus, Mesut Ozil, Andre Schuerrle; Miroslav Klose
Coach: Joachim Loew
Michalis Sifakis; Vassilis Torossidis, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Giorgos Tzavellas; Grigoris Makos, Giannis Maniatis; Sotiris Ninis, Kostas Katsouranis (cap), Giorgos Samaras; Dimitris Salpingidis
Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)
Referee: Damir Skomina (SLO)