Germany v Italy
Sunday July 3, 5:00am
World Champions Germany have cruised through to the quarter-final stage and are yet to concede a goal at the tournament as they look to secure back-to-back major trophies and win the European Championships for an unprecedented fourth time.
Italy, meanwhile, have had to work much harder to make it this far as they’ve already beaten Belgium and Spain as they search for a second Euro title to add to their 1968 triumph, having lost out in the final at the last edition and in 2000.
Whilst they leaked three goals against both England and Slovakia in friendlies prior to this tournament, the clean sheet against Slovakia means that Germany have now gone 488 minutes without conceding a goal. Indeed, if we only look at tournament games, they’ve managed nine clean sheets in their last 11 matches going back to the start of the World Cup.
Sticking with tournaments, their record against sides that they’re ranked above but are still in the world’s top-20 is an impressive W9-D1-L1 since 2010 as they managed to find the net in all of these games except the goalless draw against Argentina in the World Cup Final.
Italy themselves have been in excellent defensive form having conceded only once in their last six, with the triumvirate of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli looking close to impregnable in front of the seemingly ageless Gianluigi Buffon. Indeed, the goal they conceded in this time came when two of these four were rested against the Republic of Ireland as Italy’s status as group winners was already secured.
That defeat was one of just four losses Italy have suffered in 31 competitive games since the last Euros as critics who described this as the “worst Italian side in years” perhaps read too much into their form in friendlies, which the Italians have often treated as exercises in not getting injured.
If we focus solely on tournament games, Italy’s record against sides ranked above them is W3-D3-L2 since 2012 and one of those wins came against Germany themselves at the semi-final stage of this tournament last time around. Indeed, the Italians have an excellent record against the Germans at tournaments as they’ve yet to taste defeat in eight encounters.
Since the highest ranked side that Germany have come across at this tournament were 21st placed Poland, who arguably had the better of the goalless draw in the group stages, while Italy have recorded very impressive wins over Belgium and Spain, we’re siding with Italy to once again avoid defeat against Germany at a major tournament.
LAY – Germany at 2.28