Monday, July 03, 2006

Semifinals - Day 1

Germany vs. Italy
3pm ET - ESPN

Should Italy be here? One train of thought is that they are the best of the four remaining teams while the other is that they are nothing more then weak fools who fall down at every opportunity yet somehow get the refs to make calls in their favor. Who is correct? Both are. Italy has the power to out play opposition, however, when they are getting run, they turn into whining children who should be spanked away, but instead end up getting the refs to protecting them like a over protective mother.

So who will win. On paper, this should be Italy's great match. They, unlike Germany, have no one important out due to cards and with Alberto Gilardino coming back, Francesco Totti should have room to work around the top. But they might be without experienced defender Alessandro Nesta who has been struggled with a muscular injury the whole Cup.

For Germany, they will be without Torsten Frings thanks to his own stupidity and Italian TV (he got a red card after an Italian TV station showed him punching Argentina's Julio Cruz during the after game brawl on Friday). They will need Ballack and Klose to come out pounding as they need to get the first goal. Italy has never fallen behind in this World Cup (actually the only goal they have allowed was an own goal). The closest they have come to losing is the US match. When they surrendered the tying goal against the US, they fell apart. If it were not for bad play by America and worse calls by the ref, they would have lost. If Germany goes up, Italy will fall apart.

However, Italy is not an easy team to get a goal on. Even with Germany's new attacking style, they will be hard pressed to get on passed Italian goalie Buffon.

So what is going to happen out there? Italy will look strong, but the home team has advantages beyond words. The crowd will be 70% or more German and they will keep the refs from making any horrible calls in Italy's favor. If Germany's backline can hold for the first 20 minutes, they will break Italy.

It will be a close match with many balls just missing, but in the end, Deutschland will be singing for joy.

Prediction: Germany 2-0 Italy


Blogger Rohit Warkade said...

Hey! Its my prediction, German will win 1-0. It will happen really!

5:05 AM  

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