Following Spain’s narrow penalty shootout victory over Portugal on Wednesday evening, both of these nations know exactly what they have to do if they are to join the reigning champions in the final. There is no doubt that most people are tipping the Germans for success this time, although Italy will at least take confidence from a fantastic record against their opponents.
The fact that Italy are outside the FIFA top ten will come as an incredible fact for a lot of people, while even more will be surprised at the 18/1 odds that were initially slapped on the nation for victory in this tournament. The Italians have certainly surpassed the expectations of many and after completely outplaying England in the quarter-finals, they are arriving in Warsaw with plenty of confidence behind them. That confidence can only be aided through recent meetings between these two countries, with the Germans failing to beat Italy in the last seven competitive outings. To make matters even more appealing for Italian followers, the national team are yet to lose a competitive fixture under Cesare Prandelli’s reign.
However, while statistics may make Italy feel confident, who knows what Germany will be feeling considering their recent form. Joachim Loew’s side have incredibly won fifteen competitive games on the trot, which UEFA claim is a world record. Unlike previous tournaments, most people are tipping the Germans for success this time around as well. In contrast to favorites Spain, Germany have been all but flawless in their games up until now and many believe that their young squad could be the best in the world. It has to be said that in comparison with several other nations, Germany’s fixtures up to this point have been rather challenging following victories over the likes of the Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
As for team news, Italy are sweating on the fitness of several players with Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate all doubtful for the nation. Cesare Prandelli’s options certainly don’t get any better either, with suspension meaning that Christian Maggio is yet another absentee for the Italians. Germany meanwhile are all but certain to make changes, after Joachim Loew seemingly rested several players for the most recent game against the Czech Republic. Thomas Muellar, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski are all tipped to start for the Germans, while Loew has been handed a further boost in relation to Bastian Schweinsteiger who has been classed as fit despite an early scare.
In terms of a prediction, our tip is going to be a Germany victory. The Germans are at full strength for this clash and having performed so well throughout Euro 2012, we think they will make that step to the final. Italy will be impressive, but with so many players doubtful for Cesare Prandelli we don’t think they’ll have what it takes to fend off this team.