When Germany take on Turkey in their 2012 European Championship qualifier tomorrow evening at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin it won't be just another qualifier in the European Championships. Turks happen to be the largest immigrant community in Germany and Berlin is said to be the third largest Turkish town in the world after Istanbul and Ankara. So home advantage might not come Germany's way if Turks are able to buy more of the tickets in the open market. There are expectations that around 30,000 of the 74,000 tickets could go to Turkish fans, maybe even some more.
For coach Joachim Loew and his team the aim is to retain their 100% record in the qualifiers. So far it has been two wins from two matches against Belgium and Azerbaijan. And to move closer to qualification for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine three points against Turkey, thought to be the toughest opponent in the group, would be a big step forward.
But Loew will be missing one of his key players in Bastian Schweinsteiger. The Bayern Munich midfielder injured himself on Sunday in the match against Borussia Dortmund and surely would be missed after his great performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This means more responsibility on Real Madrid duo Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil. Especially for Özil it will be an emotional game as he is a third generation Turk born in Germany. In Turkey a lot of people have never understood why Özil decided to play for Germany, but those Turks living in Germany especially after the 2010 FIFA World Cup have come to like the German national football team as the team is closer to them then ever before and especially due to the fact that Özil played a key part in it.
Loew will continue to play his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation leaving the question on whom would replace Schweinsteiger open. Loew said it could be Toni Kroos, Christian Traesch or surprisingly even Thomas Mueller. Otherwise the open positions in defence looked to be set with Per Mertesacker and Holger Badstuber in the centre, captain Philipp Lahm on the right and Jerome Boateng looks more likely to play on the left rather then Heiko Westermann.
Turkey meanwhile under new coach Guus Hiddink will be dangerous for Germany, then Hiddink brings a system with him and Turkey have adopted quickly to it. But the Turks will be missing their star midfielder Arda Turan due to injury and for a number of their players it will be playing against the nation in which they where born.