5:00 AM (AEST) Sunday, July 3 at Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
World Champions Germany take on the brilliant Italian side in what could prove to be the match of the tournament thus far.
Germany: Neuer; Höwedes, Hummels, Boateng, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.
Italy: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Candreva, Florenzi, De Rossi, Giaccherini, Darmian; Pellé, Éder.
There have been 8 games played between these impressive footballing nations. Italy has won 4 times, Germany has just one victory and there have been 3 draws. However, the last time they met was earlier this year where Germany won 4-1.
Germany started in strong fashion, winning in Round 1 by 2-0 against Ukraine before a dip in form saw them struggle to a scoreless draw with Poland and a 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, which was just enough to top their group. Germany then made an impressive return to form, beating Slovakia 3-0 in the first round of the knockout stage.
Italy finished first in what seemed to be the toughest group of the championships. They beat Belgium 2-0 in the opening round and Sweden 1-0 in the second before going down to the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in the final round. Italy where very impressive in their 2-0 win over spain in the Round of 16.
Buffon v Gomez – The German striker has picked up 2 goals in the tournament so far and will be hungry for more after a great game against Slovakia in the Round of 16. The German defence has yet to concede a goal. The Italian side has only let one goal past, but Buffon must not let any by against Germany, as his teams strikers will struggle to get one past the German defence.
Germany’s magnificent defence and return to form in attack could prove to be too much for the Italians. However, if any team is going to get a goal past the German’s, it will be Italy.