Portugal and Germany begin the Euro 2008 quarter finals with a mouth watering clash in Basel. A match up most would have predicted for the semi-finals, the first quarter final of Euro 2008 on Thursday sees two of the tournament favourites, Portugal and Germany, pitted against one another. Each has tasted the bitterness of defeat in the group stages, and will not want a repeat, as its all or nothing from here on out. Euro 2004 finalists Portugal will be fresher, having rested several key players in their last match, but the Germans are renowned for their unforgiving consistency and will be the ultimate challenge for the Portuguese. Portgual coach Luis Felipe Scolari decided to play a reserve side against Switzerland, having already clinched the top spot in Group A, and paid the price as the hosts pulled off a surprise 2-0 victory courtesy of two Hakan Yakin strikes in the 71st and 83rd minutes. It was not all one way traffic, however, as several substitute players were very impressive and the Portuguese came close o scoring on more than one occasion. Nani and Ricardo Quaresma in particular were impressive, having efforts saved or hit the woodwork. With their full squad back and well rested for the quarterfinals, Portugal should be in top form and difficult to overcome. They have a well balanced combination of a solid defense and an innovative and super fast attack which any team will find hard to play against. Rumours of star Christiano Ronaldo moving to Real Madrid and their coach’s move to Chelsea after the tournament are feared to have caused unease in the Portuguese camp, and Germany will hope this is the case. The Germans have not been as impressive as expected so far this tournament, winning their last game courtesy of a spectacular Michael Ballack free kick, and without influential midfielder Bastian Sweinsteiger due to suspension, many will feel they are not strong enough to prevail. However, at their best, the Germans are unstoppable and only a fool would count them out. Portugal begin the match as favourites and with good reason. Bar a final match defeat when a shadow squad lost to Switzerland, Portugal have looked fantastic in their other two games. The side is packed with attacking flair and Felipe Scolari’s side will give Germany a torrid time. The Germans did not look convincing in their 1-0 victory against Austria and surely Joachim Low cannot persist with the awful Mario Gomez up front for any longer. Germany cannot afford to waste the chances the Stuttgart striker has squandered against Portugal, who have goal scorers in Ronaldo and Deco to name but two.