Germany vs. Italy: Match Preview and Analysis

Germany vs. Italy: Match Preview and Analysis

Germany vs. Italy: Match Preview and Analysis
By Ryan Stetson
Covers.com

Germany vs. Italy

Odds:
Germany -125, Italy +330, Draw +225

Total: 2.5, Over +123, Under -179

About Germany

FIFA ranking:
No. 3

Germany has looked every bit the part as the tournament’s co-favorites along with Spain. They have won each of their first four matches in the competition and took it up a notch in the quarterfinals against Greece.

After controlling the play from the outset, Germany was deadlocked in a 1-1 draw after halftime with Greece before exploding with three goals to advance with a 4-2 victory.

Germany was concerned about Bastian Schweinsteiger’s status after he suffered an ankle injury but coach Joachim Loew says he is fit for the semifinal.

The main choice Loew has in front of him again is whether to start Mario Gomez or Miroslav Klose up front. Gomez has scored three times in the tournament, but he gave way for Klose against Greece and the veteran responded with a goal.

About Italy

FIFA ranking:
No. 12

Italy slipped past England in a shootout in the quarterfinals, but were easily the best side throughout the match. The Azzurri enjoyed 64 percent of the possession and had 35 attempts on goal compared to just nine for England.

Andrea Pirlo was easily the best player on the pitch, completing a game-high 131 passes and delivering a cheeky chip goal in the shootout.  The 33-year-old should see a lot of physical German midfielder Sami Khedira in this one.

“They are a very strong team, but we know we can beat them, Pirlo told reporters. “We have studied them today and we'll do so again in these next two days."

Italy has some significant injury concerns with Daniele De Rossi, Ignazio Abate and Giorgio Chiellini all struggling to get fit in time for the game. Meanwhile, right back Christian Maggio won’t play due to suspension.

Tactics and formations:

After giving a 3-5-2 formation a go earlier in the tournament, the Italians look much more comfortable back with the 4-3-1-2 that has Pirlo dictating the play. After a strong performance against England, there’s probably no question that Mario Balotelli will be back in the starting 11. With the rest of the injury concerns, naming the rest of the starters requires a lot of guesswork.

Possible lineup: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Marchisio, Nocerino, Motta, Balotelli, Cassano

Germany won’t change from the 4-2-3-1 formation that’s worked so well. Lukas Podolski was replaced by André Schürrle on the left flank and Marco Reus started on right wing at the expense of Tomas Müller against Greece and that’s likely what we’ll see here.

Possible lineup: Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Reus, Ozil, Schürrle, Gomez.

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