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Semi Final 2 - Germany v Italy

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Euro 2012: Germany v Italy

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

TEAM NEWS

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger has been declared fit despite having treatment on a nagging ankle injury.

Joachim Loew may recall Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller after resting the trio against Greece.

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate are all injury doubts for coach Cesare Prandelli.

He could again revert to a three-man backline if Abate is ruled out as his other right-back option Christian Maggio is suspended.

Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci refused to be more specific about Abate, Chiellini and De Rossi's chances of making Thursday's game, other than reassuring fans: "We are doing everything possible."

Schweinsteiger said: "I am 100% fit and very much looking forward to the game.

"I have trained twice fully and I feel good."

Loew reiterated the importance of the influential Schweinsteiger to his team after the midfielder participated in a full training session with the rest of the squad on Monday despite his nagging ankle injury.

"He has fantastic stamina," said Loew. "We will get a good performance [from him].

"He is one of our leaders. He has matured tremendously over the last few years and I think in the first three group games he was very good."

Germany striker Miroslav Klose, 34, plays his club football in Rome for Serie A side Lazio.

The veteran forward explained on Tuesday how he plans to use his Italian to eavesdrop on the opposition and relay any of Italy's tactics to his German team-mates.

"I'll try to be a bit of a spy and pass on any bits I hear," he said.

"I should be able to pick up a few sentences and pass them on if they are helpful. I don't think it will be too loud [inside National Stadium] for that."

MATCH PREVIEW

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.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • The sides have met seven times in competitive games, all of which came at either World Cups or European Championships. Germany have yet to win (D4, L3). Italy beat the Germans in the World Cup semi-finals in 1970 and 2006.
  • The two previous European Championship clashes both ended in group stage draws; 1-1 in 1988 and 0-0 in 1996. The latter result eliminated Italy.

Germany

  • The Germans have won their last 15 competitive games, a new world record, according to Uefa.
  • They have previously contested six European Championship semi-finals, failing to reach the final just once - a 2-1 defeat to the Dutch in 1988. Overall, they have reached the semi-final of major tournaments 17 times, losing on just six occasions.
  • According to Opta, Mats Hummels and Sami Khedira are the only outfield players to have completed four Euro 2012 games without conceding a single foul.

Italy

  • Italy have failed to reach the final in two of the 10 semi-finals they have played at major tournaments. They lost to USSR at Euro 88 and to Argentina (on penalties) at the 1990 World Cup.
  • They have failed to score in their two previous European Championship semi-finals. They progressed to the final in 1968 after winning a coin toss following a 0-0 draw with the USSR. The Soviets exacted revenge 20 years later, winning 2-0 at the same stage.
  • The Italians have been involved in eight goalless draws at European Championship finals - more than any other side.

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Should be a more open game

two very good footballing sides

Germany will edge this one IMO (Di rest/Di Rotation against the Greeks/If they score 1st ,I feel Italy will get picked off)

Ozil vs Pirlo (WOW)

Has Don Pirlo got another masterclass in him (120 mins must of taken it's toll)?

Balo needs to be clinical tonight because like against England he will get chances

Prandelli will he go back to 3-5-2 or use the diamond (IMO that's best way of playing in football with a diamond)

Gomez the Golden boot is his to lose now

If Germany are chasing the game hopefully we get to see Gotze for more than 10 mins this time.

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Was watching a reply of juventus destruction of Roma this morning on espn just wow but I can see Germany winning

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GOMEZ

REUS - OZIL - GOTZE

pls?

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The knockout phases of this tournament have been a complete snoozefest as far as I'm concerned. Greece, Czech republic, France and England all sucking the life out of their games. Last night's game wasn't bad, as at least both teams wanted to give it a go, but it was still far from a great match.

I do think (hope) tonight's game will be brilliant though.

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Tournament Football is sh*t,

Hate it, will never like it and hope to god it's over ASAP.

f*ck*ng Tournament sh*t, no one wants it, meaningless tripe for all the groupie half hearted camp football fans that want a day out.

Roll on September.

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ANY BETS TONIGHT LADS??

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taly (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio; Montolivo; Cassano, Balotelli

Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Kroos, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez

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Low has gone defensive

I think he is going to get Khedira or Kroos to do a job on Pirlo

/

Pirlo's reverse pass for Grosso

:D

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Low has gone defensive

I think he is going to get Khedira or Kroos to do a job on Pirlo

/

Pirlo's reverse pass for Grosso

:D

was sick

the finish was f*cked aswell

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viali

talk about a "blast from the past"

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Montolivo to have the German flag stitched into his boots

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Shearer LOVES interrupting people

swear whenever he starts speaking its when someone else is mid sentence

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The way Pirlo looked at Hart after that pen :lol:

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Pirlo

I saw that Hart was very sure of

himself; I thought that he had to come down off his high horse."

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Did jerome and mario ever make up since their bust up?

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I'm HYPED!!!!

It should be a sick game.

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These German ethnics really refuse to sing the anthem

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Fuck is this shit?!

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