"We have a big hurdle ahead of us, but we have a great goal," coach Juergen Klinsmann said Friday before the team's departure for Munich, where Germany also played the opening match of the tournament and beat Costa Rica 4-2.
"We are absolutely certain that we'll accomplish this very difficult task. We believe in our strengths and we believe we can beat Sweden," Klinsmann said. "Our expectations as a soccer nation and the World Cup host don't end with the second round or the quarterfinals. We are looking forward to this game and we want to play three more."
The Germans admired his upbeat approach and credited it to the can-do attitude he must have picked up in his adopted homeland of the United States, but were skeptical of how realistic the promise was.
While the media doubted and often damned him, the fans enjoyed it: they started a love affair with Klinsmann's young, daring, attacking team that had cast away the dour efficiency of the previous generations and was fun to watch.
Klinsmann's team paid them back by giving Germany its best World Cup start in 36 years and now it may have a problem, even the doubters have become believers, the AP reports.
There has been much second-guessing whether Klinsmann would stay on if Germany loses; he has been noncommittal.
Germany will have the biggest fan support in Munich, with only 20,000 Swedes expecting to obtain tickets to the match in the 66,000-seat stadium.
All fears about what the West was trying to make of Ukraine are confirmed, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.