After riding a strong defensive game and equally impressive goaltending throughout Euro 2012, will Italy be able to muster the offensive push needed to advance against a high-powered German side?
Italy earned its spot in the semis after taking care of England in the quarterfinals in a 0-0 draw that ended 4-2 on penalties. Germany whipped Greece, 4-2, in their quarterfinals matchup. So Italy comes into this match as a +400 moneyline underdog Thursday.
That makes Germany a -130 match favorite according to the Euro 2012 odds menu at OddsShark.com. The draw line was listed at +400.
The Italian defense held the English attack at bay most of the day. When he was needed, goaltender Gianluigi Buffon was unbeatable. After keeping England off the board in the quarters, Italy has allowed only two goals so far in the entire tournament. However, after also going scoreless against England. Italy has also only scored four goals in regulation in the entire tournament. In fact, Italy has only one regulation win in the tournament, a 2-0 victory over Ireland in the group stage.
The Germans were also the only team in the tournament to win all three of their games in the group stage with wins over Portugal (1-0), the Netherlands (2-1) and Denmark (2-1). They are also the current tournament favorite at 3/2 on the Euro 2012 futures. That puts them ahead of Spain at 7/4, while Italy and Portugal are both at 5/1.
Germany may be the match favorite, but history is on Italy's side. The Italians are undefeated in their last seven major tournament matches against Germany.
Their last major tournament clash was at the 2006 World Cup, which Italy won 2-0 after extra time. The two sides also met up in an international friendly in Germany in February 2011. That match ended in a 1-1 draw.