Back Germany to win in 90 minutes @10-11
Germany have an oustanding opportunity to stamp their authority on the tournament this evening. Spain successfully won through to the final last night but the impression is that they are limping towards the conclusion of this event. Germany rested many of their key attacking players against Greece but there remained a purpose about them going forward with the result that they scored four goals. Reus has a prolific domestic scoring record and it was no surprise to see him hit the target. Klose looked sharp despite not having started in the previous three games. It is not as if the players that were replaced had performed below par in the group stage and there are clearly many viable options at Joachim Low’s disposal. Italy’s main route to goal has been through setpieces but the Germans have a clear height advantage in defence. The likes of Cassano and Balotelli will have to be much more mindful of possession than they have been, otherwise their team will be vulnerable to Germany’s direct counterattacking style. Italy are likely to again probe the area between the centrebacks as they did against England. Van Persie had joy in this area early on in the game against Hummels and Badstuber and much will depend on Schweinsteiger’s ability to provide cover. In contrast to some of the contests played in the later stages of this tournament this game is likely to be played at a higher tempo. If Germany start with the right approach, Italy will find it hard to contain them. The extra two days recuperation afforded to Germany could also be highly advantageous.