Euro 2016 Betting Prediction: Back Germany to edge Italy In this Euro 2016 Clash of the TitansPublished June 30, 2016
These are the two teams at the European Championships with longest and strongest pedigree. Italy and Germany are two powerhouses in world football, and even when their form takes a dip, as it had for both teams ahead of the start of the tournament, when it matters they get results.
Many commentators in Italy thought this was the worst Azzurri team in a generation at least, and coupled with the fact that manager Antonio Conte has already signed for Chelsea before the tournament, there was little incentive to build for the future.
In their first game, many Italians held their breath. They were facing the highest ranking European team, Belgium, full of players at the peak of their careers. However, a very typical Italian result saw them dismiss the Belgians 2-0 and place them back into the group of favourites to lift the trophy.
That was followed by a nominal 1-0 over Sweden to confirm qualification. In the third game, they rested their top players and lost 0-1 to the Republic of Ireland.
Many thought this was a grave error as it placed them in the path of Spain, looking for their third consecutive Euro win. However, the Italians blew them away and some said that the 2-0 was generous to the Spanish whose goalkeeper David de Gea made a series of outstanding saves to keep the scoreline down.
Using wing-backs Mattia de Sciglio and Alessandro Florenzi to brilliant effect, they were the more potent attacking team until they withdrew in defence of their lead in the final stages.
Now they face three-time European champions Germany, who are coming off the back of the most complete and dominant performance of the tournament so far. While they only won 3-0, Mesut Ozil missed a penalty and they restricted their opponents Slovakia to only one chance.
In typical German fashion, they did enough to easily qualify from the group stage without breaking too much sweat. Although they left it late to confirm their victory in the 2-0 against Ukraine and drew 0-0 with Poland, their 1-0 against a battling Northern Ireland side was enough to see them progress in pole position.
This is easily the tie of the round by two sleeping giants who have just shown why neither can be discounted.