Germany vs. Italy Preview

The penultimate game of this summer’s European Championship takes place on Thursday evening as three times winners Germany face 1968 champions Italy in Warsaw.

The Germans, who are now joint-favourites with Spain to lift the Henri Delaunay trophy in Kiev on Sunday, could well recall Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller who were all rested in Friday’s quarter final victory over Greece. Gomez, who is currently leading the top goal scorer chart with the other players, is favourite to win the tournament’s Golden Boot at 2.88 (15/8), just ahead of Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo.

Germany are odds on to win this semi-final, with Bet Victor offering the best price of 1.95 (20/21), whilst you can back Italy at 4.75 (15/4) with the same firm. The draw is around 3.4 (12/5) across the board.

Italy go in to the game following their dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over England in Kiev on Sunday. The Italians have injury worries in defence, with Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate all doubtful, whilst right back Christian Maggio is suspended.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, who has had the second highest amount of shots on target in the competition, is intriguingly priced at 67.0 (66/1) to finish the tournament as top scorer. Balotelli’s only goal so far was his impressive strike against the Republic of Ireland in the final group game, leaving him just two short of Gomez, Ronaldo et al.

These two sides last met in a friendly which finished all square last February, whilst the Italians won the last competitive meeting; a 2-0 extra time semi-final victory en route to winning the 2006 World Cup. The Azzurri are 19.0 (18/1) with Bet Victor to repeat that method of victory on Thursday, with Germany an 11.10 (10/1) shout with Ladbrokes to themselves win in extra time, while you can get odds of 5.5 (11/2) for the game to be decided on penalties.

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