Prandelli Plays Down Italy Chances

Italy boss, Cesare Prandelli, insists that Germany will be favourites when the two sides meet in their Euro 2012 semi-final, on Thursday.

The Azzurri were impressive in their last-eight victory over England, but they were made to go the distance, and will meet a fresh Germany side in Warsaw.

“Germany are definitely the favourites, not least because they’ve had two more days to recover,” said Prandelli. “But if we show the same attitude and desire to win again, then we can expect to play another great match.”

Italy midfielder, Daniele De Rossi, and right-back, Ignazio Abate, are fitness concerns after they came off with muscle problems in Kiev, while centre-back, Giorgio Chiellini, and midfielder, Thiago Motta, sat out the quarter-final with hamstring injuries.

Fans placing online bets on Bet365 will need little encouragement to gamble on the fixture.

Prandelli admitted that much rests on getting those players back fit for the fierce challenge against Joachim Loew’s Germany, who go into the match with a 100 per cent record.

“We’re very satisfied but we’ve got to try to get the injured players back, as well as our force and energy,” added the Italy coach, who will also be without suspended defender, Christian Maggio.

Prandelli’s side controlled the game against England, but failed to take their chances, before holding their nerve to win 4-2 on penalties.

De Rossi and Alessandro Diamanti both hit the post with shots, while De Rossi and Mario Balotelli were guilty of spurning gilt-edged chances. Antonio Nocerino also had an effort ruled out for offside late in normal time.

“I wasn’t surprised – I knew we could dictate the play. Our only worry was about not conceding too many counters, but we did really well in stopping those before they developed,” said Prandelli.

A weary Italy outfit are unlikely to see as much of the ball against Germany; in fact, the soccer betting tips indicate that the Azzurri could struggle to end the match with anything other than a loss in Warsaw.