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Germans impressed by England under Hodgson

ESPN staff
June 23, 2012 « 'Bulldog' Cole targets Euro glory | Chartbeat test »

Germany coach Joachim Low believes he will come up against a well-drilled team in Warsaw on Thursday in the semi-finals of Euro 2012, whether that is England or Italy.

Germany booked their place in the last four with a commanding 4-2 win over Greece. They will be at full strength as they look to book a place in the final, with no players suspended for the last-four battle.

England and Italy cannot be so certain they will not lose players to suspension. Italy have eight players on a yellow going into the game, while five members of the England squad would miss the Germany match if booked. Add into the mix that Germany will get two extra days' rest over the winners of the last quarter-final, and it points to a major advantage for Low's team.

But Low is refusing to entertain talk of his side being favourites to reach the final in Kiev, and instead has spoken of his admiration for the job done by England coach Roy Hodgson and his counterpart Cesare Prandelli in the Italy dugout.

"England are much better under Roy Hodgson than in 2010," Low said. "They are much better organised, they counter-attack fast.

"Roy in a short time, and he is known for this, has really built a good, compact team and got them ready. They are not so open anymore, they are not as divided as they were in 2010 and they really play well as a team.

"Roy has managed to organise this team very well and they are tactically better than in 2010.

"Italy are very good at the back and can play very well. They are very organised and have fast, dangerous players up front. Both teams will be difficult to play against and all teams who make the semi-finals will have a chance of winning the tournament.

"I think there will be four teams who will be at a very high level. You can't really differentiate. We know in games like this small things can decide a game, so you can't allow yourselves to make a mistake."

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