Well here’s hoping that today’s game is a bit prettier then yesterdays. Spain and Portugal played a close, ugly game as I thought they might, with Spain eventually coming out on top. I thought Portugal had enough to pull off the upset, but when Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t get a penalty shot at the end, you are doing something wrong. Overall, Spain was the better team, and they deserved to win. Now we are on to Germany vs. Italy. I don’t think this game will be nearly as close as yesterday’s, but let’s take a closer look.
How Germany Can Win: The Germans have been the best team in the tournament, and for me, it hasn’t been close. They were the only team to win all three of their group games, and they did it with ease, in the Group of Death! That’s pretty impressive. They followed that up by crushing Greece 4-2, and now they face an Italy team that has looked inconsistent and vulnerable. This game really shouldn’t be close. The Germany offense is clicking on all cylinders, and the only way Italy will have a shot is to shut down this high powered attack, and I just don’t see that happening. I think Germany notches a couple of goals, which against this weak offensive Italian team should be more then enough to win.
How Italy Can Win: I pretty much laid it out in the Germany section. Italy has to win with defense. They won’t be able to keep up with them in an offensive shootout, so Italy has to buckle down on defense, and try to make the most of what will likely be just a handful of good offensive chances. They will essentially play the same game they played against England, but Germany is on a completely different level here. It could be a long day for Gianluigi and his group of defenders in the back. It seems like Italy’s best offensive player has been Mario Balotelli, so he will have to behave today to give his team a shot.
Our Prediction: Yesterday, I pulled the upset card, picking Portugal to shock the world, and I was almost right. I picked them because I thought that talent wise, they weren’t that far apart, and I thought Portugal would have more motivation, as well as having the best player on the field. However, none of those factors apply to this matchup. The Germans are too good. They were my pre tournament pick, and that hasn’t changed since. I think they win this one realitvely easily, a 2-0 or 3-1 final score, setting up a repeat of Euro 2008 in the Finals.
Who do you think will win? Let us know in the comments!