Germany vs Italy: The Gomez or Klose Conundrum

Craig DaviesContributor IIIJune 28, 2012

L'VIV, UKRAINE - JUNE 09:  Mario Gomez of Germany is replaced by Miroslav Klose of Germany during the UEFA EURO 2012 group B match between Germany and Portugal at Arena Lviv on June 9, 2012 in L'viv, Ukraine.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It is a problem which most sides would wish to be blessed with, deciding who to start in a semifinal because a case can be made for most, if not all, within your squad.

Alas, this is what faces Joachim Loew tonight, most importantly of which concerns Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose.

The former was favored in each group game where he amassed three goals, but it was the Lazio striker who came in for the quarterfinal defeat of Greece.

Along with Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller, Gomez had to settle for a place on the bench, a cheeky risk that more than paid off and highlighted the unbelievable strength of this German side.

With that in mind, what will Loew opt to do tonight?

Stick with the side that impressed whilst blowing away Greece or revert back to the one that breezed through the group stages?



The Gomez vs. Klose debate isn't a new one—it reared it's head at Bayern Munich, with Klose eventually leaving after a failure to agree on a length of contract extension.

They are a pair of very differing qualities though.

Klose is the more versatile of the two, able to drop off and switch positions, and his on field intelligence more than makes up for a natural lack of pace.

With coaches these days seeming to favor a possession-based tactic where interchanging of positions rules all, Klose seems the natural option.

The truth is though, at both club and international level, a style of play has been born which fits Gomez's style, allowing him to become the predator we have become accustomed to seeing.

A throw back to the older style of striker, it is his strength that is his main quality and you will rarely see him venturing back from in and around the penalty area and swapping positions with those around him.

With this style the playmakers that sit behind the lone striker, in the 4-2-3-1 formation utilised by Germany, become hugely influential.

Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski have formed quite a fearsome foursome, and along with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at club level, can take some thanking for Gomez's success.

The bottom line is that he is a natural finisher, someone who can make the utmost of the strengths he has been blessed with to get in the right positions and find the net.



It will soon be decision time for Loew, and the overwhelming thought is that Gomez will be re-introduced after his Greek sabbatical.

His nation have never beat Italy in a competitive match, but are huge favorites to conquer that demon tonight.

In a matter of hours we will be well aware of the choices the German coach has taken, and whatever they are, it will surely see them reach yet another final.