The winner of tomorrow’s contest will take on either France or Iceland in the semi-finals, no matter the outcome, the team victorious will have thoroughly deserved their place.
The Germans rule the world - can they rule Europe?
Germany are yet to concede a goal at the Championships, Joachim Löw’s side came under criticism in the group stage following their lack of convincing performances over the three games.
The world champions did what World champions do, putting their critics to bed as they blitzed through Slovakia in the previous round, winning 3-0.
Goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler cemented Germany’s place in the quarter finals, as the Slovakians were left stunned.
As mentioned, die nationalmannschaft are yet to concede a goal at the tournament, the triangular wall at the rear end of the pitch is partly to thank for this; the brilliance of Bayern Munich trio, Mats Hummels, Boateng and Manuel Neuer. The German side is packed with A-list professionals, however, the competition is proving that individuals do not necessarily win tournaments.
Time for the Italians to rule once more?
Antonio Conte’s Italy side have been the shock team of the competition. It was always expected for the Italians to do well, but maybe not as well as the form they are currently playing in.
The fierce, organised and spirited Italians are a force hard to beat, as proved in the previous round as the blues eliminated the current holders, Spain, in a 2-0 win. The victory was as good as it appears to be on paper, and can only be described of a tactical masterclass on Conte’s behalf.
It’s never easy to play against a midfield of Spain’s experience and ability, but the 2006 World Cup winners almost belittled their opponent, shrinking the dented Spanish side to a crumpled heap in which they discarded in ninety minutes of play.
Conte revealed in a press conference that there are three players in question for Italy ahead of the clash; Antonio Candreva has been ruled out due to a muscular injury, there are also doubts over Danielle de Rossi’s fitness, and Thiago Motta is suspended.
A positive for the Germans is that Joachim Löw declared that the German squad is fully fit, leaving his options for selection open.
Germany predicted XI: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.
Italy predicted XI: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Sturaro, Parolo, Giaccherini, De Sciglio; Pellè, Éder.
It would be fair to say that both of the two could rightfully win the tournament, however, one must say their goodbye’s to European glory, as the two giants battle it out for a spot in the semi-finals.