Germany vs Italy by Isaiah
Germany, similar to Italy, didn't completely impress at the group stage, but the team was still without any doubt the best side in the group drawn together with Poland, Ukraine and Northern Ireland. What's more, they have scored only three goals, but were entitled much more, while the offensive quality of Germans was much more obvious in the last sixteen phase when they crushed Slovakia 3:0.
The team looked very effective, especially in the first halftime as they secured the progress quite easily and early, thanks to goals from Boateng in eight minute, Gomez in 43rd minute and Draxler in 63rd, while the team has also missed a penalty kick in the progress and few more good chances. Even though they aren't known for perfect defensive lineup during previous years, the team now remains the only one yet to concede a goal at the tournament.
Germans should be playing in 4-2-3-1 formation with Gomez as striker, but also Draxler, Ozil and Muller as his first offensive support. They have no reason to make any changes in comparison to the starting lineup against Slovakia 3:0 few days ago. Left back Jonas Hector is struggling with illness, but should recover in time for this one.
Italy didn't have completely impressive performance in the group stage, especially after their defeat against Republic of Ireland, but still the team looked very solid in first two rounds and the only side to secure the first position after only two matches played.
However, the side made huge impression after their 2:0 victory over Spain in last sixteen round, as it was the first game for Spaniards to fail to score at EURO since 2008, also it was against Italy. They are now having quite a difficult task, as the team faces up against current World Cup champions Germany and no doubt that they will be trying to rely on experienced defensive lineup from Juventus.
Italians are set to play in their standard 3-5-2 formation with Eder and Pelle as strikers. Thiago Motta is suspended for this one and this could bring some problems to coach Antonio Conte, since he might wait for the last moments to check if Antonio Candreva and Daniele De Rossi are fit to play. Most likely they will be, but in case one of them fails to recover in time, Stefano Sturaro is tipped to start.
- Germany have kept a clean sheet in their last 4 matches (EURO Cup).
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Italy's last 4 games (EURO Cup).
I expect the game to become quite rough from the first moment. Both sides have very reliable defenses, however they both need very little space in attack to make damage. Whenever the match gets a bit more open, we should expect plenty of fouls and tactical fouls from both sides. On way or another, five cards at least seems quite realistic for me.