OT - Euro 2012 Semifinal - Italy Vs Germany

Submitted by AVPBCI on June 28th, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Germany has remained consistent throughout the tournament, lining up in a 4-2-3-1 even as teams have sat deeper in an effort to nullify its lethal counterattack. Germany will attempt to seize the attacking initiative from the outset, with Mesut Ozil the primary conduit. Bastian Schweinsteiger, if fit, and Sami Khedira anchor the German midfield, while in the back Mats Hummels and Holger Badstuber form a solid central pairing. Outside back Philipp Lahm is a threat on both sides of the ball, as he showed by scoring against Greece. Defensively, Germany does have its weaknesses. Greece exposed the team’s frailties on the counter, and defending set pieces has been an issue as well.


Italy manager Cesare Prandelli has instituted a more aesthetically pleasing style upon the Azzurri even as he’s been forced to change tactical systems because of absence and injury. Early on, with his resources limited at the back, he used a 3-5-2 with Daniele De Rossi as a sweeper. In the past two games, Prandelli has reverted to the 4-1-3-2 that he used in qualifying with Andrea Pirlo as the deep-lying midfielder. Claudio Marchisio and in particular De Rossi will be counted on to help out defensively in the middle of the park. With Giorgio Chiellini nursing a hamstring strain, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci have handled things in the back, although the suspension of Christian Maggio and a left-leg injury to Ignazio Abate could make the right back spot a concern.

Much is being made of Italy’s mastery over Germany in competitive matches. Indeed, the Azzurri have a record of 3-0-4 against Die Mannschaft, including a 2-0 win in extra time in the 2006 World Cup semifinals. But a bigger issue is the fact that Germany will have had two extra days of rest since its quarterfinal win over Greece, and Italy was also taken to penalties in its match against England. Prandelli has largely gone with the same names in midfield, meaning that fatigue could very well be a factor.


Both sides have injury worries, but Italy’s list is longer, with Abate, Chiellini and De Rossi (sciatica problem) giving Prandelli a major headache. Expect De Rossi and German counterpart Schweinsteiger to play, but the effectiveness of both players will bear watching.


it should be an entertaining tilt




June 28th, 2012 at 1:30 PM ^

the last time these 2 teams played it was 1-1 in a friendly

I expect this game to go into extra time

just got that strange feeling

gonna be a late goal in the 30 minute extra session or it is going to PK's

just a gut feeling


June 28th, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

I can't see Germany not winning this in 90 minutes, they've been dominant all tournament, and Italy just played 120 minutes with 2 fewer days of rest. I think Italy's only chance is to come out fast and hope to get an early goal, and then play defensively. There's no way they will be able to come back late or get a late goal given the team's respective fitness and talent levels, imo.


June 28th, 2012 at 1:40 PM ^

From the England came it is clear that they can play aggressively and are able to withstand a siege. For the Germans part, I get the feeilng that they might panic if down early, and go all out to try to score, which would leave them vulnerable to a counter attack and really open up the game, while the Italians are a very tight defensive bunch. Should be a fun match, especially when compared to yesterday's Iberian penninsula affair. 

South Bend Wolverine

June 28th, 2012 at 1:38 PM ^

Great write-up, thanks for the background!  As for results, I don't want to jinx anything with my predictions.  All I can say is that if anyone out there is rooting for Italy (native Italians excepted), I do not at all understand how your mind works.

South Bend Wolverine

June 28th, 2012 at 3:39 PM ^

Myth.  Mario Balotelli is pretty darned hatable.  Both on and off the field, he just acts like a giant jackass.  Then there's Giuseppe Rossi, who spent his entire upbringing in New Jersey, only to suddenly decide that he was Italian deep down and abandon the USA when it came time to play international soccer.  Italy is as hatable as ever.


June 28th, 2012 at 4:01 PM ^

Your opinion on Rossi is completely off base. Both his parents are 100% Italian and moved to the States. Then Rossi moved to Parma, Italy when he was freaking 12 years old because his family wanted a better youth program for him (and who can blame them). So basically the only time he spent in America were when he was a pre-teen and younger. He's been playing on an Italian national side since he was on the U-16 Italian team. In no way do I feel that he abandoned the US in soccer....he was well within his right to go over to Italy and I'm sure it was his father's dream for Rossi to play for Italy. More power to them. I'd have probably done the same thing in their position.


June 28th, 2012 at 1:39 PM ^

I'm not a fan of either of these teams but I want Italy to advance simply because I can't get enough Pirlo. The guy is a magician. 

Edit: I also wanted mention what a great write-up you did. Thanks!


June 28th, 2012 at 1:50 PM ^

I'm an Italy fan, my father is from Italy

I am a die hard Italy fan and Cagliari fan

just glad france is out , i can't stand france

Italy is very tight defensively

i just think of WC 06 and seeing the friendly from 2011 and that is why i see this being a tight game.

I think the sides will have their chances.

As for Italy, we always play too pretty offensively and that costs us sometimes, keep short passes like we did against england control the mid field, and send crosses.

defensively, i am very worried about german set pieces and crosses and the long ball

The UEFA scheduling was messed up beyond belief in regards to this, regardless of who made it, 48 hour difference could be huge.

I think your gonna see late substitutions for italy, just play their 11 as long as they can, and have the fresh guys come in as late as possible.



swan flu

June 28th, 2012 at 1:51 PM ^

I am very excited for this game.  I would not be surprised to see a wide open goalfest, nor would I be surprised to see a tactical 0-0 score after 90 minutes.



swan flu

June 28th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

If Spain wins, will the runner up (ie. the winner of this game) get an invite to the Confed cup since Spain will be both World Champs AND European champs?


EDIT- Wikipedia answered this for me... the answer is Yes.  Meaning the winner of this game goes to the Confed cup regardless of the final.


June 28th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

With Spain already guaranteed a place as world champions, Italy or Germany will qualify automatically as the European representative depending on which of them reaches the final of UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Pulled from FIFA.com

EDIT:  You already got your answer.


June 28th, 2012 at 2:06 PM ^

The last 4 hours of this tournament have gone by without a goal scored.  I'm a soccer fan but something needs to be done to encourage scoring.  Maybe if they had unlimited substitutions it would speed the game up and allow for a more attacking style of play.  At the very least they should get rid of the absurd penalty kick shootouts.  They are like a glorified free throw contest.  Unfortunately, I think that FIFA and EUFA move slower and are more resistant to change than even the NCAA.

swan flu

June 28th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

I believe you, but I find it odd that an Arsenal fan would only be entertained (so it seems) by goals being scored regularly. 


Unlimited subs would eliminate pretty much all the strategy of picking lineups, showing different formatons... and imagine the amount of stalling that would occur in the last 20 minutes if you could sub every single time the ball went out of play.



June 28th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

I'm not only entertained by goals.  I like the "build up" as you say.  However, if no goals are scored for 2 straight games and 4 hours of total running time I start to wonder how they can maybe improve the quality of the product.

There are unlimited subs in American sports and there's still plenty of strategy.  There would be ways to prevent substitutions just for the sake of stalling and I'd argue that the official would be able to add that to the extra time at the end anyway.

swan flu

June 28th, 2012 at 2:29 PM ^

Based on everyone's comments on here, and from all of my friends who are 100% soccer fans, you are alone on this one, the only people on your side are non-soccer fans.  I'm not going to argue about it because "unlimited subs" is such a dumb idea.  And I coach soccer for an American high school, where we have unlimited subs.  And it's dumb.  2 games without a goal simply shows just how difficult it is to score a goal, and how much of an accomplshment it is to score.


June 28th, 2012 at 2:44 PM ^

Ok so you coach and you've got a Barcelona avatar.  That doesn't make you the authority on the sport.  It's not a dumb idea.  I'm not coming on a soccer thread and blindly bashing the sport.  I highlighted something that I think could be improved (the pace of play and more attacking) and provided a solution.


June 28th, 2012 at 7:49 PM ^

He may not be an authority, but it is a dumb idea.

Now, maybe if you said something like 6 substitues it wouldn't be as dumb.  Also, you're incorrect in stating that all American sports allow free substitutes.  See baseball.

The whole argument is stupid because you're saying that because of these two games without a goal we should change the whole sport.  Should NCAA change football rules because the ESS EEE CEE wins with defensive football and everybody hates 7-3 games?


June 28th, 2012 at 2:54 PM ^

I don't think the rules should be changed in any way to increase goals.

However, you are correct in that the knock-out round has beenlack luster so far. Fortunetely the group stage was fantastic so I think on the whole this tournament has been very interesting. 


June 28th, 2012 at 2:22 PM ^

Personally, in addition to allowing unlimited subs, I think they should also be able to use their hands and advance the ball.  I think it would also make it more entertaining if it was a full contact sport where you try and bring an opponent to the ground to stop them.  Additionally, allowing players to throw the ball to advance and establishing some sort of line that the teams are seperated on before the ball goes into play would build up the drama.  I suppose we could keep the kicking a ball into a goal, but really, a team should rewarded extra points over the kick from distance if a team can advance the ball all the way to the opposing side's end.  Yeah, that would be awesome.

But keep the running clock and no replays, because we don't want to lose the heart of the game.

French West Indian

June 28th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

Soccer would have a lot more scoring if it simply got rid of the guys protecting the goals.  Games would then probably have scores like 24-21.

Also, I think it would spice the games up a bit too if they could pull the goalie for an extra attacker like they do in hockey.  Or maybe that wouldn't work.  I don't know.


June 28th, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

But  I think a well played 0-0 game is everybit as entertaining as a 10-7 american football game or a 1-0 baseball game. It very much depends on how the game is played. If a game is filled with incredible defense and spectacular goaltending ala Buffon versus England, such a game can be quite entertaining. But if it is like the Spain-Portugal game where the quality is subpar the game can be a bit tedious. The same holds true for american football. The UM-Toledo game for example.


June 28th, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

well the french currently run uefa and fifa, blame them , especially for this goal line technology issue.....

as for the game in regards to scoring

how can it be changed is the question in regards to boost scoring


June 28th, 2012 at 2:19 PM ^

Balotelli also really started to hit his stride in the last game...

I really wish Prandelli would try Balotelli and Di Natale up front at the same time.... Cassano has the ability to make some big plays, but he still has not really done much...

Balotelli with Giovinco would be cool, too


June 28th, 2012 at 2:45 PM ^

the atomic ant is great, but hes been getting out muscled alot this tourney

as for de rossi , he is the one guy on the pitch that worries me the most for italy

i always fear a bonehead pass ( see new zealand ) and bad defense ( blame him for his piss poor play for the loss against slovakia ) in wc 10 from de rossi