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Germany V Italy

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#1   ReDDevil9

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:46 PM

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Germany Vs Italy

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Venue - Stadion Narodowy — Warszawa

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Germany Preview: Midfield engine Bastian Schweinsteiger has been declared fit to face Italy in the Euro 2012 semi final. He has been struggling with an ankle injury, and was poor against Greece in the quarter finals. Germany powered through their match against the Greeks, winning by a 4-2 scoreline but defensively, it was perhaps their least convincing performance of Euro 2012. Coach Joachim Low has added an extra level of discipline in the Germany side, there is not quite the free-flowing forward drive that there was at the 2010 World Cup.

Germany are a more balanced side since then, and their defence had looked pretty solid. But their quarter final against Greece was a pretty error-strewn game from the German machine, but it is perhaps, their bad game out of the way. It seems odd to be talking about errors and improvement when you go out and score four goals, but Germany are striving for perfection, and they are not too far away from it. The key to their battle with Italy is going to be the midfield, and they badly need Schweinsteiger to be playing. He is what makes them tick, and because he was off his stride against Greece, the whole side struggled a bit.

Germany have never beaten Italy in a competitive match. They have lost four and drawn three against Italy when it has come to pressure matches. So they will be looking to turn around a bit of history. Germany are on a record breaking 15 match winning streak in competitive matches, and that can’t be ignored. They are strong all over the pitch, and in the personnel they have on the bench. Low swapped the entire front line for the quarter final against Greece, giving his main core a rest, a chance to recharge for the semi final. The only big decision it looks like, is whether to start the experienced Mirsolav Klose over Mario Gomez up front, or not. It’s a pretty good dilemma to have.

With a record of five European Championship semi finals wins out of six, going against the Germans here is hard to do. They are well behind the Italians in the head to head record, but on paper, on the day, Germany should be so much better. Germany will benefit hugely from getting on the front foot quickly against Italy, and can’t wait for Italy to settle. The last time the two met in a competitive meeting, Italy prevailed in extra time of the 2006 World Cup semi final.

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Italy Preview: Free-flowing, stylish, attacking football. Not what you would expect from Italy, but this is a modern, new look Italian side. Are they a finished, accomplished product? Not yet, there are still a couple of pieces to the equation missing. They lack true, world class forwards, and a bit of leadership across the back line. Other than that, they look pretty solid, but unlike Germany who have won all four matches at Euro 2012, Italy have picked up just one win and three draws. As much as they knocked on the door against England, totally controlling the second half and all of extra time, they could not find a way through.

They wasted plenty of chances to get the job done, and that is just indicative of where they are as a side right now. Italy are growing, they are on the right path, but they are not quite there yet. One thing is for sure, and that is they can’t afford to be wasteful against the Germans, because they will be punished. Italy were made to look good, and were largely comfortable in their quarter final match, because England offered nothing as an attacking force apart from a spell early in the match.

Their play-maker Andrea Pirlo, who sits at the back of a midfield diamond, had all the time in the world to pick England apart with his range of vision and execution. Germany will want to stop him, although they have rejected the idea of sitting a man on him. USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann did a great job of negating Pirlo when the Americans beat Italy in a friendly earlier in the year. So while Pirlo is Italy’s brightest star, if Germany take him out of the game, Italy may well struggle. Italy are waiting on the fitness of influential right back Ignazio Abate, along with Georgio Chiellini and Daniele De Rossi.

Italy will be banking on their good history against Germany, although the Italians have failed to score in all three of their previous European Championship semi finals, so don’t be surprised if this one goes past the ninety minute mark. Italy like to play an open game, we have seen that. They want to play football, but at the end of the day, it is just too hard to see them outscoring Germany in an open game. They haven’t got the quality up front to do that, and with Germany having more men in the midfield, Pirlo’s influence may be limited.

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I pass and I move, I help you, I look for you, I stop, I raise my head, I look and, above all, I open up the pitch…That’s the school of Vila, of Benaiges, of Cruijff – Xavi Hernandez

#2   Phil Parma

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:53 PM

Germany should have same squad as at group stage

Edited by 0, 27 June 2012 - 04:32 PM.

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#3   Brick Top

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 04:12 PM



#4   Rodgers

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:55 AM

Never anticipated being this nervous but I'm shitting bricks at the moment. I don't know how Italy are going to win this game but if there's one team that can pull a rabbit out of the hat, it's the Italians. However with De Rossi, Chiellini and Abate doubtful and Maggio suspended, the signs aren't looking good.
I'll drink to that

#5   Phil Parma

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:13 AM

Accroding to rumours, Poldi will back, Reus and Klose will keep their places

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#6   Phil Parma

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 04:32 PM

Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Mόller, Φzil, Podolski, Klose

Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chielini, Pirlo, De Rossi, Montolivo, Marchision, Cassano, Balloteli

Edited by 0, 28 June 2012 - 05:45 PM.

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#7   Phil Parma

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:45 PM

Neuer - Lahm, Badstuber, Hummels, Boateng - Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Podolski, Φzil, Kroos - Gomez.

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#8   busi16

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 05:49 PM

Poor Reus, he deserved a start after that performance against Greece.
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#9   ElMaestro

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:12 PM

Poor Reus, he deserved a start after that performance against Greece.

Greece sat back and gave Germany all the space in the world to just attack with freedom. I'm sure Italy wont give Germany that same space. I'm not saying that Reus couldnt still play well if he was selected, but I think Low is looking at his lack of relative big match experience when making this decision.

It looks like Germany want to take control of the ball in this match from the get go with the inclusion of Kroos as one of the 3 attackers behind the striker. It's not a bad strategy to try and keep Pirlo off the ball as much as possible.

#10   GZA


Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:37 PM

Reus played well, don't think he did enough against a Greece team that really wasn't all that good to warrant getting worked up about him not playing in this game against a much better Italian team. Good to see Gomez is back in though, disappointed when it was initially said Klose would keep his spot.

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#11   Mane Garrincha

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:39 PM

Gianluca Vialli on the BBC. Such a boss. The best bald/beard combination around.


#12   Priest Andretti

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:42 PM

Should be an interesting game. I'll be pulling for Italy to win, but Germany has looked so strong in every match so far.

#13   Hyperdub

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:46 PM

Podolski has to turn it on today.

#14   Phil Parma

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:48 PM

Buffon's signing is legendary!

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#15   El Buitre

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 06:51 PM

Ready to see how Kroos will do