The most intriguing aspect to today’s semi-final between Italy and Germany is the fact that there is no way to predict what will happen, as we have no idea which Germany or Italy will show up.
For Italy, will it be the goal scorers who pressed forward and ran riot over the sorry Ukrainians, or the team that rode their luck through 90 minutes against Australia.
And which Germany team will walk out tonight in Dortmund? Will it be the brave and solid Germans who have steadily and consistently impressed throughout this tournament or will they be the team that looked completely lost and overwhelmed during the first half hour against Germany.
Both teams have injuries that may not make a difference. Italy will be missing Alberto Nesta, one of the worlds great defenders, but have ample replacements in Marco Matterazi and Andrea Barzagli.
German midfielder Torsten Frings is suspended for the semi-final after an altercation with Argentina’s Julio Cruz. Tim Borowski, who earlier in the tournament substituted for Michel Ballack, is likely to come into the side. He is an energetic player who is also a serious scoring threat. The problem for Germany comes if either he or Ballack are hurt.
On paper, there is very little between these two teams. Both have world class goalkeepers. Both have strikers who are currently very much in form. Both have midfields that can control the game, and organized, strong defenses. They deciding factors may be the fact that Germany will be playing on their home soil and Ballack will be working extra hard to play in a final, as he missed out due to suspension in 2002.
Germany to win 2-1?