Germany v Italy (7.45pm KO, Live on BBC1)
A fascinating clash and it’s the Italians who make most appeal from a betting perspective at 3.4 with Blue Square
in the draw/no bet market.
The bookmakers heavily favour Germany, who boast the best attack at Euro 2012 with 9 goals scored, in the 90 minutes market and they are general 1.91 shots.
Italy, who have the second-best defence with just two goals conceded, are 5 with Blue Square
to get the job done in normal time, while the draw is on offer at a general 3.4.
As far as the stats are concerned it’s the Italians who hold the upper hand, and that makes the Germans worth taking on at odds-on.
The two sides have met 30 times in their history, with Italy leading by 14 wins to seven, with nine draws completing the record.
However when it comes to competitive games the Azzurri have never lost (3 wins, 4 draws) and are also unbeaten in their last 5 games against Germany – winning three and drawing twice.
Throw in the fact they have also failed to make it to the finals only in two of the 10 semi-final games they’ve played at major tournaments, and you can see why they are value in the draw/no bet market.
OK, they have had only two days to recover from their extra time marathon against England, but they didn’t look out on their legs and in Andrea Pirlo have a midfield magician who has been in irresistible form.
The 33-year-old playmaker completed 117 passes on Sunday, more than the combined tally of England’s four starting midfielders, and if Germany can’t find a way to snuff him out then I can see him pulling the strings and creating plenty of chances for the likes of Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano.
Balotelli, who missed a hatful of chances against England, is a 11 chance to net first with Coral
, while Cassano is a 12 shot with the same firm and Stan James
Both look value, and split stakes looks the way to play.
If Cesare Prandelli’s side can get that all important opener then it’s hard to see them not being able to get at least a draw in 90 minutes despite Germany’s impressive record.
The Germans have have now won their last 15 competitive games, which is a new world record according to Uefa.
Joachim Loew’s side well organised, have a squad packed full of talent and a striker in Mario Gomez who is a potent force inside the box.
They are clearly going to be tough nuts to crack, but Italy will go into the game with the psychological advantage on previous meetings, and I think they are capable of upsetting the odds-on jollies.
At 2.88 with Paddy Power
to make the final they are definitely a bit of value compared to the 1.36 on offer about their opponents.