Germany vs. Italy takes place in the second Euro 2012 semi final Thursday to see who takes on Spain in the tournament final at the weekend. The match kicks off at 2.45 p.m. EST and can be watched live on ESPN, or fans can watch online through live stream on ESPN3 (link below).
Here are some major stats coming in to today's game.
Germany have never beaten Italy in a major tournament; there have been three victories for Italy, and four draws in their seven encounters at World Cups or Euro Championships. In their two previous semi final encounters Italy beat Germany – in the World Cups in 1970 and more recently in 2006.
However, despite never having beaten Italy in a competitive game, Germany are the favorites for today's game. Germany have been one of the most impressive team at Euro 2012 until now, and comfortably won Group C – otherwise known as the Group of Death. However, their recent good form extends longer than that; Germany have won their last 15 competitive games, which is in fact a new world record. Also out of six previous Euro semi finals, Germany have come through five of them – only losing out to the Netherlands in 1988.
Italy also have a fantastic record at major tournament semi finals; out of 10 semi finals they have gone through to the final eight times, and only failed to make it twice – against the USSR in 1988, and Argentina at the 1990 World Cup.
However, maybe in a premonition of today's game, the Italians have been involved in more nil-nil goalless draws than any other side in the history of the Euro championships – having been part of eight 0-0 draws at full time.
German fans will be glad to hear key player Bastian Schweinsteiger has been declared fit for the game despite needing treatment for his ankle injury. Schweinsteiger has said prior to the game: "I am 100% fit and very much looking forward to the game. I have trained twice fully and I feel good."
Loew has said about midfielder Schweinsteiger: "He has fantastic stamina. We will get a good performance [from him]. He is one of our leaders. He has matured tremendously over the last few years and I think in the first three group games he was very good."
Italy meanwhile have Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi and Ignazio Abate all as injury doubts, and Christian Maggio is suspended for today's semi final.
Italy have complained of the scheduling at Euro 2012, which sees their team having two full days less rest than their competitors since their respective quarter finals. That could be key as the game wears on, and especially if the match goes into extra time, which will require a tired, older Italy team to keep up the tempo for another 30 minutes.
Germany vs. Italy kicks off at 2.45 p.m. EST and can be watched live on ESPN or online through live streaming on ESPN3 by clicking HERE.
Also a live blog of Germany vs. Italy can be found by clicking HERE.