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Germany vs Italy: Euro 2012 Semifinals Preview and Prediction
Published by William | Filed under Euro 2012, Germany, Italy, Predictions, Previews
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6/28 20:45 CET, Germany vs Italy – Stats
The Euro 2012 semifinals come to a close Thursday as European giants Germany and Italy do battle in the National Stadium of Warszawa, Poland in a sure to be entertaining affair. Both sides deserve to be here and each played quarterfinals against opponents that preferred to park the bus. With three wins, Germany is the most successful side in the Euros while Italy has more World Cups (four to Germany’s three). Many of Europe’s best are on display Thursday night for the chance to make history. Who will step up and be the hero to take their country to the final?
With a tournament record of nine goals, Germany is the only team in the Euros to have won all their games. Ze Germans scored four in their last encounter against Greece, while Italy has only scored four in the entire tournament. Furthermore, seven different players have scored for Germany. Manager Joachim Löw made three lineup changes in the quarterfinals and there is no telling what he will do next. Jogi Löw demands the absolute best from his players and they typically perform. Mario Gómez opened the tournament with three goals in two games that included two game winners. Since, his form has fallen and veteran goal scorer Miroslav Klose may get to start again in the place of Gómez. In the midfield, Özil has not ceased to impressive with his through balls. The Real Madrid midfielder is constantly on the move to find space to give the Germans another option in attack.
While Germany has scored an impressive nine goals in the Euros, they have conceded four. If there was a weakness in this German squad, it is their defense. At an average age of 25, Die Mannschaft are the youngest team in the tournament. No matter the age, these players play at the highest level and they are hungry for greatness.
Italy are once again in the semis of a major tournament. The Italians have shown time and time again that they cannot be underestimated. This under the radar Italian side (well, except Balotelli) much resembles the team of 2006. With another scandal back at home, the Italians seem to be playing for something more than glory. Manager Cesare Prandelli has his boys playing attacking football that counteracts the catenaccio style of former Italian football. Italy has become increasingly dangerous from dead ball situations and they definitely don’t mind taking the game to penalties.
Despite the new attacking style of the Italians, they have only scored four and only won one game out of four in full time. Considering the amount of opportunities, finishing from strikers Mario Balotelli and Cassano has been poor. They will have to take their chances against Germany for Italy to advance to the final. Christian Maggio will miss the match due to his collection of yellow cards against England. Pirlo however, has been the magician in the midfield. His vision, decision making, passing and set pieces certainly have him in the player of the tournament category. Between the sticks, capitano Gigi Buffon continues to deny the opposition with highlight reel saves game in and game out.
Winning all of their matches, Germany has breezed through the competition while Italy has been made to sweat in their path to the semifinals. The Germans are also on a world-record 15 game winning streak. On the other hand, the fact that Italy played 120 minutes against England and has two days less rest than the Germans can come into play. By the way, the Germans, in seven all time tries, have never beaten Italy in a competitive match. There is a first time for everything as we saw Spain beat France for the first time in history. Another Germany Spain final.
Germany 2 – 1 Italy