There's no question who the favorites are for this one, but history tells us that anything can happen. Will the Germany squad take care of business in the semi-finals or will the Italian team finally find the back of the net that evaded them in the last game?
A day after Spain meets up with Portugal in the other
semi-final we'll witness another entertaining showdown between two
giant soccer nations: Germany and Italy.
Yesterday we looked at the best total betting options for
the match and you can check out what we decided here.
As for a soccer pick on the side, Germany is the favorite at
-130. Italy, fresh off a penalty-kick shootout win over England, can be found
at +400 in the odds to win and move on to the Euro 2012 Final.
Germany enter as favorites
We know how both teams got here.
Germany won all three of their group matches, the only team
in the tournament to do so. They qualified as the number one side from Group B
and then beat up on Greece 4-2 in the quarter-finals. Four different Germans
scored in the victory.
Italy escaped Group C as the second seed, holding Spain to a
1-1 draw and then beating both Ireland and Croatia.
In the quarter-final, they were held at bay by a
ultra-defensive English side for 120 minutes, but in the end went through on
penalties. Andrea Pirlo's audacious chip turned the tide in the shootout, with
both British players missing their kicks afterwards.
Now we are set for an interesting match between a couple
Cesare Prandelli has implemented a different style of play
as manager of Italy, giving his players more freedom in attack. Sure, that's
left them looking a bit shaky at the back, but it also resulted in the Italians
generating more scoring chances than any other team in the tournament so far.
Despite missing some opportunities himself, Mario Balotelli
was excellent in the win over England. His movement off the ball caused John
Terry and the defense a lot of problems. Can he have a repeat performance
against the Germans?
Of course he can, but Germany isn't going to shy away from
bossing the game like England did in the quarters. No, this match will be much
Joachim Low's team has scored the most goals (nine) of any
in the tournament and are coming off an impressing attacking display against
Greece. Even with three new players in the starting XI, Germany didn't skip a
One player who never has to worry about his place in the
side is Mesut Ozil. The Real Madrid playmaker has been a class above and will
try to be the star of the show again in the semi-finals.
The options for Low are limitless. He can either go with
pure finishing prowess in Mario Gomez or a more veteran route with Miroslav
Klose. In midfield, we're likely to see Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger
(if he can recover in time), but then the other spots are up in the air. Low
can go back to Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski, or go even younger with Mario
Gotze or Toni Kroos.
Whoever ends up lining up on that pitch, Germany is going to
be incredibly difficult to beat on Thursday.
These Germans are the outright soccer odds favorites to emerge as Euro
2012 winners (+150 at Bovada), moving past Spain after some tremendous
performances so far. They look as if they're destined to reach the Final.
The experience is there, the talent is there, the right
coach is there. Everything is set up for Germany here, so we're picking them to
win this semi-final.
FREE Pick: Germany -130