Germany vs Italy, Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Germany 2 (Mustafi 19, Schweinsteiger 90+2), Ukraine 0
Germany 0, Poland 0
Northern Ireland 0, Germany 1 (Gomez 30)
Germany 3 (Boateng 8, Gomez 43, Draxler 63), Slovakia 0
Belgium 0, Italy 2 (Giaccherini 32, Pelle 90+3)
Italy 1 (Eder 88), Sweden 0
Italy 0, Republic of Ireland 1 (Brady 85)
Italy 2 (Chiellini 33, Pelle 90+1), Spain 0
2 – Mario Gomez
1 – Jerome Boateng, Julian Draxler, Shkodran Mustafi, Bastian Schweinsteiger
2 – Graziano Pelle
1 – Giorgio Chiellini, Eder, Emanuele Giaccherini
Germany put in a dominant performance to beat Slovakia in the round of 16, and Joachim Low is unlikely to make any changes to the team that won 3-0. There are no injury or suspension concerns, and Julian Draxler should keep his spot over Mario Gotze following a man-of-the-match performance against Slovakia.
Likely team (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Muller, Ozil, Draxler; Gomez.
Daniele de Rossi injured his hip in the game against Spain, and Antonio Conte faces a difficult task in replacing him. A like-for-like replacement is out of the question with Thiago Motta suspended, and Stefano Sturaro is likely to come into the team to replace the veteran midfielder. Sturaro is set to play on the right, with Marco Parolo shifting into de Rossi’s position in the centre. Antonio Candreva is still injured, and Mattia de Sciglio should hold his place as a result.
Likely team (3-5-2): Buffon – Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Sturaro, Parolo, Giaccherini, de Sciglio; Pelle, Eder.
Keys to success
The Germans were dominant in their 3-0 victory over Slovakia, and they will look to play with the same ruthlessness as they did in that game. They need to assert themselves early by gaining plenty of possession, and they will try to create plenty of opportunities up front by using the ball-playing skills of Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil. The Germans will need to be wary of the Italians ability to counter-attack, and they will try to keep as much of the ball as possible.
A key feature in Italy’s run to the quarter-finals has been Conte’s tactical nous, which has allowed the Italians to beat sides who look much stronger on paper. Italy took the Spanish by surprise when they started the game on the front foot, and they may try to take the game to the Germans instead of sitting back and absorbing pressure. They will need to be at their best defensively, and the all-Juventus back three will be looking to maintain their strong form.
Italy surprised many with their tactics against Spain, and Conte may play a similar game when his side takes on the Germans. Germany will be looking to assert themselves in the middle through Kroos and Sami Khedira, and they should be able to get the upper hand. It will be difficult, but the Germans are in good touch and should go through. Germany 2-1.