Tomorrow, Germany will play Italy at 2:45 EST on ESPN for the right to go to the championship of the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. While Germany is currently listed as the favorite, this one could really go either way.
Italy has played very well so far in the tournament, and should give Germany a great match, but Germany is the better team and should win this game.
The Germans are led on defense by Philipp Lahm, their team captain.
Lahm only has a single goal so far in the tournament, but what he brings doesn't always show up on the stat sheet. He is one of the best defenders in the world and is also the leader of the German team.
He is the rare player who is still at his physical peak, but is experienced enough to be a leader. He will make sure Germany's young players know what to do and play their absolute best against the tough Italians.
One of those young players is midfielder Mesut Özil. The 23-year-old is Germany's top playmaker and one of the best young players in the world.
He is smart, creative with the ball and a precise passer. Few players are better at setting their teammates up for goals than Özil.
While he played for Germany in the 2010 World Cup, this is Özil's first European championship tournament. Playing this deep into such a big tournament can incite nerves in young players. Germany needs Özil at his best, and luckily he hasn't shown signs of nerves so far.
Finally comes Germany's best goal scorer and one of the men Özil will help put in positions to score, Mario Gomez.
While Gomez was initially in the shadow of German legend Miroslav Klose, he has played excellently so far, leading the entire tournament in goals.
At the end of the day, the game comes down to putting the ball in the net. Gomez has done that so far, but he'll need to continue doing it for Germany to win this tournament.
While the entire German team will have to play well for them to beat Italy, they have the star power to do it. If these three guys step up, look for Germany to win the game and a date in the finals with world power Spain. It should be a great match.