Germany vs. Italy: Scoring the Key Battles in Euro 2012 Semifinal

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Germany vs. Italy: Scoring the Key Battles in Euro 2012 Semifinal
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Germany and Italy face off in the second semifinal of the 2012 UEFA European Championship later today.

The victor is set for a showdown with Spain in the final after La Roja defeated Portugal on penalties 4-2 with yet another instance that will likely see Cristiano Ronaldo criticized. Ronaldo saved himself in anticipation of taking a fifth shot for his side that never came and had no impact on the shootout at all.

Spain narrowly defeated Germany in the 2008 Euro final, and a rematch would be of great interest to many.

However, Italy want to crash the final's party after two straight poor showings in the 2008 Euro's and the 2010 World Cup. The Azzurri want nothing more than to silence their critics, and a victory over Germany could go a long way towards that goal.

Germany will have history on their side as they have never failed to claim victory in a European tournament following one in which they were runners-up. With a potential showdown from 2008 on their horizon, it is the perfect time to see Die Mannschaft rise to the occasion.

Standing in the way of either of those two nations are the refereeing decisions, as well as the key matchups that either will be hoping to win en route to the final.

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