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HindustanTimes Sun,23 Nov 2014
Lahm ready for a 'classic' semifinal
AFP
Gdansk, June 25, 2012
First Published: 00:27 IST(25/6/2012)
Last Updated: 00:29 IST(25/6/2012)

Germany captain Philipp Lahm has rated Italy as stronger opponents than England, but says he is just looking forward to a "classic" against either side in Thursday's Euro 2012 semifinal.

The Germans will play either England or Italy in the Warsaw semi-final for a place in the European championship final in Kiev on July 1 after the Germans beat Greece 4-2 in Gdansk on Friday in their last eight clash.

Aside from losing the 1966 World Cup final, Germany have never been knocked out of a major tournament by England, but by the same token the Germans have never beaten Italy at a major finals.

Both the Italians and English have enjoyed more wins than defeats at the hands of the Germans.

Against England, Germany's record is won 11, six draws and lost 15, while against Italy, Germany have recorded just seven wins, nine draws and 14 defeats.

"You have to take statistics with a pinch of salt," said Lahm when asked about his country's record against either potential opponent who meet in Sunday's last quarter-final.

"Spain hadn't won a match against France for ages, but they went away with a (2-0) victory against France (in Saturday's quarter-finals).

"I think Italy are a bit stronger than the English, they are very clever, well schooled from a tactical point of view and generally very difficult to beat.

"England, at the same time, have class. They are a bit more defensive minded than they used to be, but it won't be easy to beat them."


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