This is a preview of the Euro 2012 Semi Final between Germany & Italy.
Mesut Ozils performance will be key in creating chances for Germany
- Germany have been the most attacking team coming into this fixture, and will be looking to build on that great success having won all of their games within 90 minutes in this tournament so far.
- Germany shuffled the back around in their last game, and we could see Podolski and Gomez coming back for this game to replace Klose and Schurrle.
- Tomas Muller has had a torrid time in this tournament, and we should expect Reus to continue on the right wing after his superb display last time around against Greece.
- Defensively Germany have been outstanding for most parts, but have struggled on the counter attack due to Khedira’s forward advancement, and we should look for him to sit a bit deeper today to provide cover for the back line.
- Italy have gone through 120 minutes of playing time on the field, frustrations through easily missed chances and a nerve wracking penalty shoot-out, and now face the prospect of playing with 2 fewer days of rest compared to their opponents.
- Mario Balotelli looked extremely lively last time around, but was unable to convert his chances, and has shown signs of not being clinical inside the box.
- The midfield maestro Andrea Pirlo has clearly been the lynch pin for the Italians creating chances at will to unlock the defence, as well as providing an outlet for his team to put the ball into when they are under stress.
- Defensively though they have not looked sound, and it was mainly the case of Buffon having an excellent time between the sticks, and has been solid all around.
- Italy have not got any wing play to speak off, which will congest the centre of midfield where Germany can exploit the spaces in, with Lahm, Podolski, Boateng and Reus like to play.
- This game should see attacking football from the Germans, as well as the new found spirit of counter attacking from the Italians, with only one team likely to go through due to their consistent play.
- An important note to mention, that the only team that Italy have beaten in 7 months in 90 minutes of play has been Republic of Ireland and this does not give any confidence in me to back them.
Germany to win @ 1.95 (Betfair) – 5 points