After watching Italy labor against England, and have to play extra time, this is a stone cold lock – Germany wins this semi final easily. Everyone has a chance when you play a match at this level. However, this is as certain an outcome as there has been in the knockout stage – even more than Germany beating Greece. The only event that could derail a German victory is Neuer or one of the defenders getting a red card while giving up a penalty to Italy.
Why Italy Will Win
- Gigi Buffon has the greatest game any Italian goalie has ever had.
- Coach Low decides to do something unconventional up front and doesn’t start his top three of Gomez, Muller and Podolski.
- Italy usually beats Germany in major tournaments and usually wins in semi finals.
- Germany gives Pirlo too much time on the ball and doesn’t put him under enough pressure when he is on defense.
Why Germany will win
- Two extra days of rest and 30 minutes less of high stress extra time running. Also, Muller, Gomez and Podolski didn’t even play half of the quarterfinal against Greece so they are going to be fresh.
- They’ve beaten every one else so far and Italy doesn’t look that great.
- Ozil, Muller and Podolski will not give Pirlo a free pass when Germany has the ball. They will expose his lack of pace on defense and the space behind him is going to be gobbled up by Ozil. It’s the reason Milan got rid of him after Manchester United exposed his liabilities so adroitly a couple of years ago. The German midfield will not let Italy have any time on the ball and by the 60 minute mark, fatigue will set in and the Italians will struggle.
- While Badstuber hasn’t been particularly great, Hummels, Lahm and Neuer have played well enough to corral Cassano and Balotelli.
Pre match prediction: Germany 2 Italy 0
Muller hasn’t scored yet. That will change. Gomez will add a second. See you in the finals Spain.