THERE’S no doubt the standout quarter-final tie at Euro 2016 is Germany v Italy.
I’ve heard many pundits say the winner of this match will lift the trophy but having tipped France on the anteposts I have to disagree.
France are marginal tournament favourites at a best 3-1 ahead of Germany who are 3-1 with most bookies while the Italians are a best 7-1 at 888sport. I’d say it will be the winners of the semi-final in this half of the draw who will go on to be crowned champions.
Before a ball was kicked most people would have fancied Germany to go further than the Italians but there’s no doubt which of the teams have looked better.
Italy have notched three convincing victories and their only blip was against Ireland after they’d already won their group. Boss Antonio Conte rested players and was vindicated when his side confidently despatched holders Spain.
Germany have improved as the tournament progresses and their best display was in the last round albeit against a sorry Slovakia. So who’s going through here? I have to admit it’s a toss of a coin and mine sided with Italy.
I tipped penalties on the Portugal-Poland tie on Thursday and this could also need a shoot-out that pays 4-1 at bet365.
Italy are underdogs at 3-1 with McBookie and Ladbrokes to win in 90 minutes and 6-4 at William Hill and bet365 to qualify. Germany are 13-10 with William Hill and 4-7 at McBookie respectively.
Germany will dominate possession but so did Belgium and Spain against Italy and both were beaten 2-0. I’m not tipping 2-0 Italy but it pays 19-1 at McBookie for anyone who fancies it.
All the stats favour Italy who haven’t lost to Germany in eight meetings in tournament finals – four wins and four draws.
At knockout stages Italy have won all four at the World Cup in 1970, 1982 and 2006 and at the Euros in 2012.
However, the Germans have reach the semis in their last five major tournaments and haven’t conceded a goal in 480 minutes with Oscar the last man to beat Manuel Neuer in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.
That suggests a German clean sheet at 5-4 with Coral and under 2.5 match goals at 1-2 with betfair.
Picking a scorer is tough but Southampton’s Graziano Pelle is to consider at 18-5 with 888sport.