After posting an impressive 4-2 embarrassment of Greece in the quarterfinals, Germany will continue its winning ways against Italy on Thursday.
The Germans look like they have what it takes to win the 2012 Euro Cup, there's no question about that. They have the firepower to outscore almost anyone, the defense to force errant shots and a goalkeeper in Manuel Neuer who is among the best in the world.
When you add in the fact that midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger can play in the semifinals, you can see that the Italians are in trouble.
What has elevated Germany from a great team to arguably the best in the world is the play of Mario Gomez in the Euro Cup. He has already scored three goals during the tournament, which is tied for the most.
Gomez has emerged as the top goal scorer for a team that also boasts Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. While the Klose-Podolski connection has not been what it once was in the Euro Cup (only scoring one goal apiece), Gomez has made up for it.
This team has scored nine goals in its four games during the competition and has won all four games.
Even in the face of adversity, this team has pulled through. Against Greece, the team gave up a game-tying goal in the second half, but battled on and scored three goals to go up 4-1.
While the Greeks added on a goal from a penalty kick late in the game, it was clear that the Germans dominated after that one miscue.
With such a high-powered offense, the Italians must score multiple times to win this game, which is something that they will struggle to do. Italy has only scored four times during the competition and did not score at all against England in its last game despite dominating almost the entire game.
The Italians failed to put away many chances in their last match, which is something they cannot afford to do against such a loaded German team. The Germans will surely be capitalizing on their chances and Italy must do the same.
These two teams have conflicting styles of play, as the Italians have only scored four goals but have allowed only two while the Germans have scored nine times and allowed four.
While the Italians play a much more conservative game, the Germans are always looking to punish their opponents.
I see the German style greatly benefiting them in this match, as they can take control of the game by constantly attacking the Italians. This would force the Italians to get out on fast breaks and push the ball quickly—something that they will struggle to do against Germany.
With great talent and a dominating style of play, the Germans will end their seven-match losing streak to the Italians in major competitions on Thursday.