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Germany vs Portugal preview - Mertesacker a doubt for Low; Bento assessing Nani's fitness
Posted Saturday, June 09, 2012 by Sky Sport

Germany vs Portugal preview - Mertesacker a doubt for Low; Bento assessing Nani's fitness
Joachim Low: Knows Portugal pose a threat in what is considered a Group of Death

Germany will want to demonstrate why they are considered by some to be favourites to win Euro 2012 when they begin their Group B campaign against Portugal in Lviv on Saturday night.

After getting their campaign under way, Joachim Low's team face Holland in their second group game, while Portugal take on the Dutch in their final fixture after meeting Denmark next Wednesday.

Losing on Friday could therefore have serious repercussions, which Germany forward Thomas Muller is particularly keen to avoid.

"Making a good start is crucial because you avoid a pressure situation with the game against Holland," said the Bayern Munich forward.

"We don't want to go into the Holland game, against a nation who finished second at the last World Cup, with a bad feeling and being nervous that we might not make the quarter-finals.

"You only get three games in the group phase and all three opponents are very strong, so you really cannot afford to slip up."

Yet while Germany may have one eye on Holland, their coach Low does not want them to lose their focus against one of the sides he believes will have a big say in where the title goes this summer.

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    Rank Team W/D/L Pts

    Cities & Stadiums

    The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments

    Year Winners Runner-up Third place
    2008SpainGermanyRussia / Turkey
    2004GreecePortugalNetherlands / Czech Republic
    2000FranceItalyNetherlands / Portugal
    1996GermanyCzech RepublicFrance / England
    1992DenmarkGermanyNetherlands / Sweden
    1988NetherlandsSoviet UnionItaly / West Germany
    1984FranceSpainDenmark / Portugal
    1980West GermanyBelgiumCzechoslovakia
    1976CzechoslovakiaWest GermanyNetherlands
    1972West GermanySoviet UnionBelgium
    1964SpainSoviet UnionHungary
    1960Soviet UnionYugoslaviaCzechoslovakia