Denmark is unbeaten against Germany under Olsen

For once, the usually meticulously prepared Germany coach

Joachim Loew was caught out.

The fact that Loew didn’t know was that Denmark has never lost

to Germany under coach Morten Olsen, who has been in charge since

2000. There have been three friendlies since then, two wins for

Denmark, one draw.

On Saturday, one day ahead of Germany’s last European

Championship match in Group B against Olsen’s team, Loew was taken

aback by the statistic. However, he believed a defeat for Olsen’s

side was an inevitability at some point.

”That surprises me, but it has to happen some time,” he

said.

So, if there is a time for Germany to beat its northern

neighbor, it’s the match in Lviv, Ukraine.

Germany, a three-time champion, needs a draw to win the group,

and is not certain of qualifying despite two wins from two games.

Denmark upset the Netherlands, lost to Portugal and still can

advance.

The last time the two teams met in a tournament was in 1992,

when Denmark stunned Germany to win the European Championship as a

team that was a late replacement for the banned Yugoslavia.

”Our position is clear, we still have not qualified,” Loew

said. ”We have a difficult job. Denmark can advance, they can

achieve a sensation.

”Before the tournament, many people considered them an

outsider. But our scouts told us two-three months ago that the

Danes could play a big role at this tournament. We have analyzed

them thoroughly, they are a very compact team, they are not

outsiders. We can’t underestimate them.”

Loew said there was no question of him resting any players.

”It’s an incredibly difficult game and if I were to make a

change that would only be because I thought it was necessary for

this game. Denmark is a compact unit, they play with stoic calm

while being very dynamic,” Loew said.

The Netherlands plays Portugal at the same time in Kharkiv,

Ukraine and has to win by two goals and hope Germany to beat

Denmark to have any hope of advancing.

Don’t expect any favors from the Germans for the Dutch. Germany

is seeking its first title since 1996.

”The Dutch have put themselves into this tough position. We

want to play well and win, we are not interested in the other

game,” Loew said.

Loew said his team will not be keeping an eye on the other match

very closely.

”I am not going to have someone give me updates every 10

minutes. As a coach I want to focus on my game, although one way or

another we’ll know what’s going on,” he said.

Germany will be without right back Jerome Boateng, who is

suspended. Loew would not say who would replace him.

”We have a deep bench,” he said.

Lukas Podolski will be playing his 100th game for Germany and at

27 he will be the youngest German to reach the milestone.

”The goal this summer is not the 100, but the 103 and I am

optimistic that it will happen,” Podolski said.

That would not only equal Franz Beckenbauer’s appearances but

also mean Germany would be in the final.