Knockout play in the Euro 2008 tournament starts today with a match in Basel at 11:45 am PT between Group A winner Portugal, which won its first two matches and then lost a final meaningless match to Switzertland, and Group B runnerup, Germany.
The Germans will be without their coach, Joachim Low, who was suspended for the match after being red carded in the Germans last match, a win over Austria. Low may be spending the match hanging out with Chancellor Angela Merkel and discussing why sometimes his surname is spelled with an e. Germany may also be without Torsten Frings and Lukas Podolski, although both could see limited action.
Portugal beat Turkey and the Czech Republic to clinch first place. The Portuguese feature the player many consider to be the best in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo. Having the best player in the world makes coaches, in this case Luiz Felipe Scolari, look really smart.
The last meeting between these two teams was in the third place game of the 2006 World Cup. Germany won that match 3-1. The two national sides have played each other 15 times and the Germans hold a 7-5-3 advantage.