If England reach the semi-finals, Arsenal's new signing Lukas Podolski will be waiting – and he is not expecting them to pose too much of a problem.
Podolski was left out, along with Mario Gomez, against Greece but both are primed for recalls. "The team is confident and playing well," said Podolski. "To score four goals in the quarter-final against a difficult side like Greece is good. Maybe it could be England next and, if that's the case, then of course it's no problem. Now we want the final."
Manager Joachim Löw said Podolski, Gomez and Thomas Müller needed a rest after the group games, though there have been suggestions from the German camp that the reasons were more tactical. Löw sees Podolski and Müller as pacy, powerful players who are at their best when Germany are playing a more counter-attacking game. Against the increasing number of teams who have realised the need to sit back deep against Germany, Löw feels a bit more innovation and ingenuity is needed – hence the inclusion of Marco Reus and André Schürrle against Greece.
It is testament to the integration of the German squad that the alterations did not need time for adjustment. Within the first four minutes against the Euro 2004 champions, Germany had twice ripped through what had been a respected defence.
Podolski is clearly enjoying himself. "I know Arsène [Wenger] has been at the tournament, so maybe I will see him at the semi-final," he said of the Arsenal manager. "I'm looking forward to next season. I think I'm going to score a lot of goals for Arsenal and I have to say I'm proud to play for them. It's a great team with a great coach, great fans, great stadium. For me, it's a very good move.
"I already speak some English so I don't think it's going to be difficult for me to settle in. I'm looking forward to it. But, first, I have a job to do here with Germany."
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