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semi-final the second - Germany vs. Italy


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Here. We. Go. For the right to play Spain in the final on Sunday.

Venue: National Stadium, Warsaw Date: Thursday, 28 June Kick-off: 19:45 BST

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Two themes have dominated the build-up to the second Euro 2012 semi-final - fear and revenge. Disadvantaged by two days fewer rest, not to mention playing extra-time, Italy have drawn strength from their remarkable record against the Germans, who have failed to beat the Azzurri in all seven previous encounters at major tournaments. Man-of-the-moment Andrea Pirlo says: "They are afraid of us - we are at the level of Spain".

Pirlo and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon are the only survivors from the Italian side that started the last competitive clash, which the Azzurri won 2-0 to reach the 2006 World Cup final.

Veteran Germany striker Miroslav Klose concedes the defeat in Dortmund was a "trauma" while captain Philipp Lahm admits "of course we still have that [match] in our minds". But coach Joachim Loew, who was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann at the time, refuses to dwell on the past: "In football there is no such thing as revenge. The past plays absolutely no role for us or for our young players who may know things only from history."

If any squad should not feel burdened by previous failures it is this one - the youngest Germany have ever selected for a European Championship. Those young legs should ensure Loew's side do not run out of gas quite as dramatically as Italy's quarter-final victims England. But to avoid getting the run-around from the Azzurri, Germany will have to succeed where the Three Lions failed - and devise a plan to stop Pirlo. The 33-year-old playmaker completed 117 passes on Sunday, more than the combined tally of England's four starting midfielders.

Italy may be unbeaten in competitive games under Cesare Prandelli, but the Germans have won their last 15 meaningful matches. The Azzurri have not fallen behind at Euro 2012, but the last time Germany trailed in a European Championship match (including qualifying) was the final four years ago. Germany have the form, yet Italy the history - something has to give.

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I think Germany match up really well considering how poor the Italian defence looked against us, we just didn't have the ability/intelligence to exploit that weakness. Going for something like 3-1 Germany here and praying Gomez gets the start for fantasy reasons.

Oh and I have money on Germany winning the whole thing so they'd better bloody win :mad:

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Klose, Reus, and Schürrle have to start ahead of Gomez, Müller, and Podolski. Germany looked so much more threatening with the former trio playing, though I'm not sure how much of that was down to Greece's incompetence. Löw has plenty of options, anyway. :D

3-1 to Germany.

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Klose, Reus, and Schürrle have to start ahead of Gomez, Müller, and Podolski. Germany looked so much more threatening with the former trio playing, though I'm not sure how much of that was down to Greece's incompetence. Löw has plenty of options, anyway. :D

3-1 to Germany.

I'd take Müller over Schürrle tbh but I think Reus and Klose need to start.
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Germany have the form, yet Italy the history - something has to give.

Says it all. I'm optimistic, however. The curse will end today. Auf geht's Deutschland schießt ein Tor!!

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If Cassano and Pirlo will play the best and wil assist Balo decently,

Italy's victory is very likely

Especially if Italy scores the first goal

:confused:

What? How can a Italian victory be very likely against a very strong German team who have won their last 15 competitive games?

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Agreed but apparently Podolski will start. Müller/Reus and Gomez/Klose are the question marks.
Poldi's been anonymous so far :( so he's bound to have a good game tonight and start playing in this Euros. I think Jogi will use Poldi, Klose and Müller with Reus and Schürrle to feature at some point.

Is Schweinsteiger fit for tonight? I remember reading there were question marks over his fitness a couple of days back.

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Schweinsteiger has had problems with his ankle since February. He played all matches since then with these problems and Löw will definitely field him. There is no problem with his stamina, tho.

I would love to see Podolski dropped again but there is a special bound between Jogi and Poldi. ;)

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Like the way Germany play...but love the Italian :cool: - gotta go Italy overall...but wouldn't be annoyed if Germany got through. Just hope whoever wins this tonight goes on and does Spain in the final.

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Italy: Buffon; Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Marchisio, Pirlo, De Rossi; Montolivo; Cassano, Balotelli.

Germany: Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Kroos, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez.

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I need to know if Ozil is a grammatically correct alternative for Özil. To my understanding the alternative is Oezil (as Ozil changes the pronunciation) but that's from my limited knowledge of German grammar (I get unnecessarily irritated by foreign grammar if I think it's wrong).

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:confused:

What? How can a Italian victory be very likely against a very strong German team who have won their last 15 competitive games?

None of us is Nostradamus, even you....

Let's wait and see

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so now alan shearer is praising balotelli? the other day he said he's done nothing in his career
I remember his face when Lineker said, "well, he won the league last month". Priceless. :cool:
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Genuinely don't mind who wins this, I just want to see a thriller. For once, in this godforsaken tournament.

Mario is always entertaining. The commentators trying to convince everyone that he is about to flip out every time he makes a small mistake not so much.

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