Olympiastadion in Berlin

What: UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifiers – Group A
Who: Germany (1st; 6 points) vs Turkey (2nd; 6 points)
When: Friday 8th October, 2010, at 19:45 UK time
Where: Olympiastadion, Berlin, Germany

Crucial Three Points

Largely regarded on paper as the toughest two sides in Group A, Germany and Turkey have an early chance to set themselves up as the team to beat. Currently the Nationalmannschaft lead the charts through goal difference, but that could all change in this crunch clash. Having thrashed Azerbaijan by six goals last month though, confidence is high in the German camp and the stage is set for the Euro 2008 finalists to make their mark.

To do so, the three-time World Cup winners will have to cope without some of their key players, namely Bayern Munich livewire Bastian Schweinsteiger. Coach Joachim Low will miss the key midfield man, but has been realistic about his loss: "These things happen after a World Cup [injury to players]. The players have only had a short time to prepare for the next season, and the risk of becoming injured is, of course, higher." The German boss will be crossing his fingers that no more key players pick up aches and sprains in what is sure to be a demanding duel.

A Club Match?

Germany is home to around three and a half million Turks – whose most famous representative at the moment is Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil – and understandably there are those who view the German-Turkish clash as a “friendly” between two intertwined communities. Yet when the actual football gets underway, things could get messy as bragging rights are on the table.

Registering two wins from their first two qualifiers, Turkey have to face their toughest test yet when they travel to Germany. One man who fancies Turkey’s chances though is none other than miracle-worker coach Guus Hiddink, who declared: "Turkish footballers enjoy playing. We have both talented and experienced players, and that’s a plus when you’re competing in a high-level competition. Our players are well aware of what is expected from them, both on and off the pitch.” Having accepted the role as Turkey coach, Hiddink will not want to blot his copybook with a failure to reach Euro 2012.

Recent form

Denmark 2-2 Germany (11/08; Friendly)
Belgium 0-1 Germany (03/09; Euro 2012 qualifiers)
Germany 6-1 Azerbaijan (07/09; Euro 2012 qualifiers)

Turkey 2-0 Romania (11/08; Friendly)
Kazakhstan 0-3 Turkey (03/09; Euro 2012 qualifiers)
Turkey 3-2 Belgium (07/09; Euro 2012 qualifiers)

Key absences

Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger; Marcell Jansen; Kevin Grosskreutz

Turkey: Arda Turan; Selçuk Şahin

Players to watch

Germany – Mesut Ozil: One player who will be relishing the occasion will be Real Madrid’s summer signing. The "Wizard of Oz" produced a stellar display in front of the Santiago Bernabeu fans as his team thrashed Deportivo La Coruna last weekend. With the absence of Schweinsteiger confirmed, the former Werder Bremen star will be his team’s orchestrator against Turkey.

Turkey – Hamit Altintop: The Bayern Munich star may have been born in Germany, but he feels Turkish. This game will have an extra edge for Altintop, who has bagged two goals in the country’s first two Euro 2012 qualifiers. Altintop will be playing against friends in the Germany side and will not want to lose.

Match prediction

This has all the elements to be an exciting match. Indeed, Germany vs Turkey should have been drawn in the latter stages of the qualifiers. The Eurasian country will be vying to make amends with their fans following failure to qualify for the World Cup, while the Germans need to confirm that they can build on their excellent showing at the World Cup. Expect the Mannschaft the take maximum points following a 2-0 win.