Germany VS Italy Prediction
When it comes to European football classics teams like Germany and Italy are from the perfect examples for exact meaning of such a reputable definition. Their quarter-final encounter at UEFA Euro 2016 opens another opportunity for Germany since most of you probably know that “Die Mannschaft” remains without victory against “The Azzurri” if we review their competitive history. Indeed, Italy possesses strong superiority but regardless of whole data with historical facts of the football rivalry between Germany and Italy, we’re looking only in the future and Germany won in quite a convincing way just few months ago.
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Die Mannschaft is eager for revenge against Italy but we all know…
Latest example for melted German hopes was only four years ago when Mario Balotelli scored that memorable brace at the Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw. Another painful game for the Germans was at home turf and not so long ago – at the 2006 World Cup semifinals, thereafter Italy triumphed with the trophy. Some fresh wounds which are inevitably here to improve the level of concentration in German camp and since we know their ordinary discipline and approach, Joachim Löw builds some serious plans for this one. Whether Italians were in such form or not.
Germany experienced perfect example of their situation in the Round of 16 win against Slovakia since Slovaks triumphed with 3:1 just one month ago, while four weeks later Germany won right on time. That 3:0 win was third for “Die Mannschaft” at Euro 2016 and after victories against Ukraine (2:0), Northern Ireland (1:0) and the one vs Slovakia, Germany will finally have game from completely different light as we all watched how solid Italy were. Not only against Spain in the 1/8 finals but so far at UEFA Euro 2016. Thus Löw must demand most from the football arguments he saw against Slovakia and in a fact that was first win of Germany at Euros with three goals margin since the 3:0 win against Russia at Euro 1996. When Germany won the European trophy for the last time.
Great inspiration for Germany but they must avoid the scenario of their second group game against Poland when we saw one relatively toothless Germany but effective in defense. Fact, Germany is the only contestant at Euro 2016 which still keeps a clean sheet and that’s quite a progress. Padded by the World Cup morale from the trophy won only two years ago, Germany will enter with confidence, composure and solid defensive arguments. Although for a moment everyone in Germany have felt kind of woefulness about Philipp Lahm’s retirement from international football. Miroslav Klose’s advanced football age was a good reason about his decision but former captain and Per Mertesacker were two players who surely had more to propose, but nevertheless, their decision to retire on top was well accepted. Presence of centre-back duo like Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, as well as decent backup in face of Shkodran Mustafi successfully cover absence of Mertesacker and similar anticipation was influenced by presence of Thomas Müller, Mario Gomez and Mario Götze up front. Of course, Marco Reus would be another great option but he’ll miss another major event due pre-tournament injury and this brings more misery to the German fans. However, fact that Mario Gomez scored in the last two games inspires more confidence that he can lead Germany’s attack, while Thomas Müller still seeks its first ever goal at the Euros.
The only notable concern was related with the right-back position where Benedikt Höwedes began in the first two rounds but Joshua Kimmich used his chance in a great fashion so expectations are that he’ll start in third successive game. He was praised about the progress shown under Pep Guardiola’s management and Bayern München’s player is one from these so valuable type of polyvalent footballers. Jogi Löw should be pleased he has him on duty and Jonas Hector is another name from the new generation players who are contributing for the stability in defense.
Italy are the hidden favorites and Antonio Conte holds his aces
Squadra Azzurra were left a aside from the main stream of favorites at Euro 2016 and Italy wasn’t even in Pot 1 of the qualifying draw. However, Antonio Conte’s men were the first team here in France that managed to secure the first position and only two games were enough for “The Azzurri” to gain that. And that happened in one of the toughest groups where Italy were alongside “underdogs” (respectively from Pots 3 and 4) Sweden, Ireland and the main favorites Belgium. Everything started so well for Italy as they were in role of certain underdogs against Belgium and we observed what really happened there. The 2-0 win in Italy’s Euro 2016 opener was just to remind us who’s the Euro 2012 finalist (and not only…), so Antonio Conte’s men have obviously overcame the Brazilian failure from two years ago. Well, Italy is one of the teams which shows huge potential and maybe exactly Germany and Italy are the teams who impress at most during Euro 2016 so far.
Italy won their first competitive duel against Spain and the 2:0 win from Monday evening was their first one after the 1994 World Cup, where actually both teams could also met in the semi-finals, but Bulgaria caused major upset and “The Lions” eliminated Germany in the quarter-finals. This time Italy will face Germany and they’ll hope to maintain their positive record against “Die Mannschaft”.
Italians shouldn’t been underestimated in a first place and their present efforts are only demonstrating how important and productive is to have good connection between players and coach. And Conte has that charisma not only from days in Juventus, but from his past experience as a player and overall work. It’s clear that awesome sync between Gianluigi Buffon and defensive trio (long-time teammates in Juventus as well) in front him – Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, is first ace which Conte holds in his strong hand.
Any important conclusions after the defeat by Ireland shouldn’t be made and we saw completely different “interest” by Italy in that game, as they were already first in Group E and obviously interested only towards upcoming 1/8 final against Spain. Now all aspirations of “The Azzurri” at Euro 2016 are more than reasonable and here are few good arguments in support of the thesis.
Besides the strong quartet at the back (Buffon + the central defender trio), Italy can expose one really strong midfield where every player has the skills and ability to cover each others’ zone. Fact is that Italian midfield formation is built by a core of Serie A players who are capable to play on different positions. Actually the only midfielder in current Italian selection who doesn’t play in Serie A club is Thiago Motta, but PSG’s player has been suspended due the yellow card he received against Spain, so he’ll miss the lights in Bordeaux on Saturday night.
Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Candreva are both doubts and if Candreva is close to return, De Rossi will most likely miss this one according to the Azzurri’s medical staff. Roma’s midfielder still suffers from serious injury in his right thigh, which he picked up during the 2-0 win over Spain at the “Stade de France”. Italian team doctor Enrico Castellacci admitted the Roma midfielder is unlikely to recover in time and this may require changes in the starting lineup. This looks as an issue since exactly Thiago Motta was De Rossi’s replacement only few minutes after the second half whistle.
However, we already mentioned that Italy looks strong and players have ability to filling the gaps when it’s required, so Alessandro Florenzi can take the central midfield position of his experienced Roma teammate, while the right wing-back position may be taken by Matteo Darmian. He entered as Florenzi’s substitution late in the 1/8 final and the 26-year-old defender of Manchester United had quick impact since he assisted to Graziano Pellè, who netted the second goal in the same way as he did against Belgium, when the cross came from the right wing again, but it was brought by Antonio Candreva. However, we doubt that Candreva will start in these circumstances and it’s more reliably to believe that Conte will prefer players with clearly expressed defensive orientation, such as Darmian and Mattia De Sciglio.
Both full-backs who are operating between defense and midfield are well supported by the corresponding central midfielders and in face of Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessandro Florenzi we find players who can play either in center and on the wing. This pretty much explains the multi-functional outlook of Azzurri’s midfield.
Situation in attack also looks promising and Antonio Conte can be pleased not only by his first-choice duo Eder and Graziano Pelle, but from the available selection he has on the bench. Players like Simone Zaza, Lorenzo Insigne, Stephan El Shaarawy and Ciro Immobile can be used in certain situation and variety of attacking options on duty always carries big positives.
European football classics: Germany vs Italy before Euro 2016
Two different football schools and philosophies are meeting for another time and no matter which one looks more preferred by the football followers, it seems that Italian model does great work when it comes to challenging Germany. Indeed, Italy can boast with 15 wins out of 33 encounters whilst Germany has only 8, but all of them are in friendlies. Last one from them was the 4-1 win from Munich late in March but this can be a double-edged sword for “Die Mannschaft”. However, it surely brings some extra confidence in the squad since it was Germany’s first win against Italy for more than 20 years – last one was in a friendly match (in Zürich) back in 1995 when Germany won with 2:0 and twelve months later they lifted their third UEFA European Championship. Thomas Helmer and own-goal scored by Paolo Maldini were the last source of winning goals for Germany until all four goals by Toni Kroos, Mario Götze, Jonas Hector and Mesut Özil at “Allianz Arena”.
Italy and Germany have 8 previous meetings on major football events and six of them were ending with a draw, at least in the 90 minutes. Two from these six draws were followed by Italian success in the additional time and in both occasions it was a real nightmare for Germany. Not accidental the semi-final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup between Italy and West Germany remains in history of football as the “Game of the Century” and more from 100 000 spectators had an unique opportunity to watch the game live at “Estadio Azteca” in Mexico City. Game which met Italy of Ferruccio Valcareggi and Germany of Helmut Schön and it ended with only two goals in the regular 90 mins – 1:1 draw. After 30 more minutes score was 4:3 in Italy’s favor and we can easily taste from the atmosphere even if we were not alive back then.
The semi-final from 10 years ago is another massive win of Italy as it came late in the additional time in similar situation as this years’. First of all Italy won with 4:1 in a pre-tournament friendly held in Florence, while few months later they won again and Joachim Löw was part from the German side back then, although he was assistant of Jürgen Klinsmann. Now Germany have the same chance and we believe that this will bring unrealistic joy to the Germans, probably even bigger than the 7-1 win over Brazil at the last World Cup finals.
Of course, Germany keep some fine memories from Italy but as destination since they lifted second ever European Championship (Euro 1980) and third ever World Cup trophy – Italy’1990.
Euro 2016: Germany vs Italy – Possible squads and betting tip
Italy successfully took scalp of the reigning double champions Spain and after dethroning “La Furia Roja”, Antonio Conte is ready to face another serious opponent in coaching profession. Conte’s decision to play friendlies against Spain and Germany was followed by meaningful games only few months later and we believe that this one won’t be a goal fiesta. Truly, we expect tactical duel between two very well disciplined and organized squads and coaches so we must forget about the open football. Of course, we can hope on another similar outcome like the one in Mexico City (as it comes to goals), but reality here is completely different and we’ll stick to the Euro 2016 spirit while taking our final decision about betting prediction for the quarter-final on Saturday.
Final conclusion and betting prediction
Commonly we are looking at the historical aspects of each rivalry and there’s nothing new under the sun here as we have two nations playing with their specific and modern football schools. Italy relies on the big number of experienced players and even without some serious names like Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti, Antonio Conte impresses with the good organization of all figures on the table.
Germany has one big improvement since the last time when both teams met in official game and that’s their strong defense. It seems that Joachim Löw strictly takes notes with every next event and after the final defeat at Euro 2008, Germany shows progress and players like Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Sami Khedira, André Schürrle, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze and Mario Gomez became newest experienced names in “Die Mannschaft”. Under their mentoring players like Joshua Kimmich, Jonas Hector, Julian Weigl, Emre Can, Julian Draxler and Leroy Sané must show improvement. Not to mention what presence of names like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski brings to the team, although they’re not first team picks nowadays. However, captain Schweinsteiger scored in opening Euro 2016 game of Germany and he’s the one who gets more first team football.
If there are two teams which represent similar level of competition and will attract lot of attention at the Euros, those are teams of Germany and Italy. Italians are always frugal but effective and hard to be beaten. Not with their current look and that’s pretty much based on the strong defensive formation which regularly plays together in “The Old Lady” from Turin.
Considering the huge importance of that game, overall nature of Euro 2016 and lack of so high-scoring games, strong defensive formation in both sides and expected considerate approach of both coaches, we find good value in the double chance on Italy. They have enough psychological boost from the unbeaten record on their side and we expect another game where Italy will act clever and they won’t lose, at least after 90 minutes in Bordeaux. Asian Handicap +0.5 on The Azzurri.
Referee: Viktor Kassai from Hungary.
Venue: “Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux”, Bordeaux.
Possible starting lineups of Germany and Italy
Germany: Manuel Neuer (c) – Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector – Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos – Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler – Mario Gomez. (4-2-3-1)
Italy: Gianluigi Buffon (c) – Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli – Mattia De Sciglio, Emanuele Giaccherini, Marco Parolo, Alessandro Florenzi, Matteo Darmian – Eder, Graziano Pelle. (3-5-2)