BASEL - Turkey's bid to beat Germany and reach the final of Euro 2008 is in danger of being wrecked by injuries and suspensions.
The Turkish team which faces Germany in the semifinal at St Jakob Park today will be very different from the one that beat Croatia on penalties in Friday's quarterfinal in Vienna.
Turkey will definitely be without six players and possibly more, depending on how they respond to treatment before kickoff.
"Of course having lots of injured players is hard but the players who fill their places will give their utmost," forward Semih Senturk told a news conference yesterday.
Those out are goalkeeper Volkan Demirel, who is suspended as are defender Emre Asik and attacking midfielders Tuncay Sanli and Arda Turan, while forward Nihat Kahveci and Emre Gungor are injured.
Defender Servet Cetin has a knee problem, Tumer Metin a groin complaint, and midfielder Emre Belozoglu a damaged hamstring, but they were back in light training.
Germany coach Joachim Loew will be back in the dugout after serving a one-match ban in the stands, and unlike Turkey coach Fatih Terim has a full complement of fit players.
Loew faces the dilemma of whether to stick with a winning team - and a devastating new formation - or go back to first principles.
With Torsten Frings injured for the quarterfinal against Portugal, Loew took the bold decision to play a new 4-5-1 system with Simon Rolfes and Thomas Hitzlsperger as holding midfielders and Michael Ballack free to get forward as much as he could.
"I've always considered 4-4-2 my favourite formation but we did well with 4-5-1 against Portugal," Loew said. - Reuters