Germany and Italy go head-to-head at the Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux on Saturday night with a place in the Euro 2016 semi-finals on the line (8pm live on BBC1). Our preview analyses this fascinating quarter-final clash and suggests some likely betting tips.
Joachim Low’s (pictured) men breezed past Slovakia in the round of 16 last weekend to book their place in the last eight, with the world champions delivering a performance that was rather ominous for the remaining sides in the competition.
Indeed, no other team in the tournament is as complete as Germany, who possess an abundance of options going forward. They had the luxury of dropping Mario Gotze last time out, while Leroy Sane is still awaiting his first appearance. They have also recorded four clean sheets in their four encounters against Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireland and Slovakia.
Best Match Betting Odds
13/10 Germany (Boylesports, Betfred, Paddy Power, Coral, William Hill)
2/1 Draw (Bet365, SkyBet, BetVictor, Stan James, Ladbrokes, Unibet)
3/1 Italy (Bet365, Boylesports, Betfred, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Betfair, Unibet)
Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil have been among the leading performers in France, while it is even possible to put a positive spin on the disappointing form of Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. After all, it is testament to the strength of Low’s side that Germany have looked so comfortable even when one of their best players has not contributed much. There is also a feeling more generally that Die Mannschaft have hitherto been operating in second gear, with Germany still capable of taking things up a notch or two as we approach the latter stages.
Italy have won four World Cups so it would be inappropriate to label them as a surprise package, but it is certainly accurate to state that not many fans or pundits expected them to do as well as they have done this summer. A fantastic 2-0 defeat of Belgium in their opening fixture set the tone, and while the Azzurri were a little below par against Sweden (a 1-0 win) and the Republic of Ireland (a 1-0 loss), they underlined their credentials with a terrific 2-0 triumph over Euro holders Spain in the last 16 earlier this week.
The biggest compliment that can be paid to Antonio Conte and his players is that they have operated like a club side, with everyone fully aware of his role and responsibilities and the collective functioning coherently as one.
This quarter-final tie has the potential to be a classic, with the irresistible force of Germany meeting the immovable object of Italy. These are probably the two best coached teams in the competition, but the Germans’ extra attacking quality means it is probably worth backing them to secure a narrow victory in Bordeaux. It is certainly likely to be tight, and both sides will be wary of overextending themselves in the early stages as they seek to probe rather than penetrate, but Germany could prove too strong for Conte’s charges if they are able to settle into their rhythm.
Our Preview’s Germany v Italy Betting Tips
Taking everything into account, this preview concludes that a 2-1 Germany win looks to be the best betting tips’ selection for Saturday evening’s blockbuster clash between the two heavyweights of the European game.
There are a number of interesting options for first goalscorer. Could this be the game when Muller finally gets on the scoresheet at a European Championship, for example? However an outside and potentially lucrative bet would be to back Italy midfielder Marco Parolo. Both the Lazio midfielder and Emanuele Giaccherini are given the freedom by Conte to break forward and make late runs into the box, which could result in the former getting his name on the scoresheet just as the latter was able to do against Belgium last month.
In many ways, it will be a shame to lose one of these two nations before the semi-finals, and it is therefore to be hoped that this meeting produces something memorable enough to overcome that negative.