Germany Vs Italy Euro 2012 Semi Final – Watch it on BBC One with radio coverage on BBC Radio Five Live – Match to be played at National Stadium, Warsaw – Thursday, 28 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST
The second of the semi finals for this years Euros sees England’s biggest rivals Germany come up against their conquerors in the Quarter finals, Italy.
Germany truly look like a force to be reckoned with having beaten Greece convincingly with a lot of second string squad, and look like they will shake things up again for the Semi Final. Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller are all available for recalls and Joachim Loew will probably return to his favourite front three. A big boost for the Germans is the fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who will play in spite of an ankle injury having been declared fit. The German Midfielder said “I am 100% fit and very much looking forward to the game. I have trained twice fully and I feel good.”
The Germans have the added advantage of two extra days rest from the quarter finals and arguably a squad with more depth anyway.
Italy will surely be jaded having played 120 minutes against England on Sunday night, and should we see extra time in this match for any reason, the Germans will be sure to have an advantage. Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate are all said to be struggling with injuries, though may play through pain for the sake of their countries. The two countries both bost impressive unbeaten records in competitive internationals at the moment, and it may be a case of immovable object and unstoppable force when the nations lock horns come Thursday.
Although they will presumably be favourites, the Germans have not beaten Italy in seven meetings in International competitions, the boys in Blue will certainly be hoping that this is an omen, but I truly cant look beyond Germany for this game. In six European Semi Finals, Germany have progressed five times, which is not a bad ratio. Expect them to add to that this week and head to the final on Sunday night. That said, the Italians have done extremely well to reach this stage of the competition and have Andrea Pirlo in the form of his life at 33 years of age pulling the strings in Midfield. They will certainly be no pushovers, but I expect that the Germans efficiency will do the job once again.