Originally Posted by kevin21
This has all the makings of a cracker. Don't expect Italy to sit back, fully expect them to take the game to the Germans, well at least try too anyway. Haven't been convinced with the Cassano/Balotelli combination but don't see Prandelli changing it. Portugal were really the only side that I saw trouble Germany and that was only when they had to chase the game, I thought they exposed some weaknesses in the German defence. Will be interesting to see how Italy go about trying to do the same.
Germans win on pens
Originally Posted by PNHH
How will Italy's diamond manage to cope with both Lahm and Reus/Podolsky down their right side? Balotelli/Cassano won't track back, so that leaves Marchisio moving out wide. But won't this expose Pirlo to Özil's movement? Unless Italy sit back and just stay compact, of course.
Thorough preview that I think covers it all really, though maybe a little bit too optimistic between the lines of the Italian level of play.
The width covering of Italian 4-3-1-2 and space opening up is the eternal issue against the 4-2-3-1 that so many sides play now including the top ones in the Champions League, and why generally I'm always skeptical about it right on the verge of calling it dated.
No matter what almost it will be vulnerable and it will have to compensate in other ways. With Prandelli's version and the players he has (remember Pirlo has crucially been missing internationally with injuries pretty much since 06) there is at least the skill potential of it having really good possession removing pressure and creating.
I also think Italy will be pressed back quite a lot but hopefully not too much.
They will still try to build from the back though (passing over kicking) and maintain a high line making things very tight central, really challenging players to come up with the goods (both teams). Especially now that the Germany lineup now also feature more players with their strengths operating central.
Italy's best chance will be try to find space behind the German high line better than Germany will behind the Italian. Not completely unlikely even if the Italian strikers are not ideal. I'm not sure I've ever seen Balzaretti on the right, but his pace will have to be a weapon nonetheless.
But I can easily see Germany winning the midfield battle, win possession, and quickly punishing the Italian team on their heels, finding enough space to be really dangerous through that (and win).