27th of June 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Germany have never beaten Italy in a competitive match but their current form entitles them to believe that the tradition can be defeated in the Euro 2012 semi final. On the other hand, Italy have not lost any competitive matches since coach Cesare Prandelli took charge.
Here are the probable line ups:
Neuer - Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm - Khedira, Schweinsteiger - Reus, Ozil, Schurrle - Klose
Buffon - Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Balzaretti - Marchisio, Pirlo, Nocerino - Motta - Balotelli, Cassano
The German staff are happy as midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has overcome an ankle problem and will be available for the clash against Italy. Coach Joachim Low will probably change his line-up again after completely switching his attacking line for the quarter-final win over Greece. Striker Miroslav Klose will probably remain first choice ahead of Mario Gomez, while midfielder Lars Bender might be preferred to Jerome Boateng at right-back.
Italy could field defender Giorgio Chiellini as he has returned to training after a hamstring injury while his Juventus team-mate Leonardo Bonucci could return to the bench. Cesare Prandelli has some worries over the fitness of Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate though after the two picked up muscle injuries in the dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over England. Christian Maggio will not feature in the semi final as he is suspended. Midfielder Thiago Motta has recovered from a thigh problem and will probably make a return in the starting line up replacing Riccardo Montolivo.
Here are the odds for the game from Bet365:
Germany - 10/11
Draw - 12/5
Italy - 7/2
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