KHARKIV, UKRAINE - While the dysfunctional Dutch are providing more juicy storylines than an episode of Desperate Housewives, the Germans are barely creating a blip on the soap opera radar.
Heading into their showdown Wednesday at Euro 2012 against the rival Dutch, the most biting criticism being aimed at the Germans was that they were too boring in posting a 1-0 victory over Portugal in their only previous match.
If that's the worst thing they have to deal with, well, life isn't all bad, is it?
There was the pre-tournament incident in which defender Jerome Boateng landed in hot water with manager Joachim Loew after being spotted enjoying the Berlin nightlife just before the Germans flew out to Poland for Euro 2012. But all seems forgotten, judging by the fact Loew opted to start Boateng in the opener.
Oliver Bierhoff, who oversees the German team, insists his players will not take the Netherlands lightly, no matter how off-kilter the Dutch seem right now. At the same time, he is exuding a quiet confidence in his squad.
"If everything comes together for us we can win this game," Bierhoff said. "We have said we want to beat the Dutch and that has not changed."