Venue: Nouveau Stade Bordeaux
Date: Saturday, July 2
Italy take on Germany is what is undoubtedly the biggest clash of the tournament so far. Both teams are capable of handling pressure and can certainly turn it on in the big games.
The World Cup winners were knocked out of the last edition by Italy in a 2-1 win
Unfortunately for Antonio Conte, defensive midfielder Danielle De Rossi will miss this fixture through injury. Even winger Antonio Candreva is struggling to regain full fitness. Joachim Low has no concerns in that department.
Italy are the bogey team for Germany when it comes to big tournaments. In their last 8 meetings, the Azzurri has won 4, with 4 producing no results. What’s worse is the fact the Italians’ 4 wins have all come at the knockout stages.
The Germans on the other hand have been consistent at major tournaments, reaching the semi-finals in their last five attempts.
One more statistic that will boost German hopes is the fact they are the only team in the tournament to not have conceded a goal so far. They have been superb in attack, controlling 69% of the possession in four outings.
Though it need not be said, Italy too have stupendous defensive record when it comes to major tournaments. 19 clean sheets in 37 Euro games is the best performance by any team.
Ideally, this should have been the final. Italy and Germany are the two best teams at the tournament. Despite their good form, the Italians will not go in as the favorites against the World Cup champions.
Possible starting line-up:
Germany: Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector; Khedira, Kroos; Özil, Müller, Draxler; Gomez
Italy starting lineup: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Florenzi, Parolo, De Rossi, Giaccherini, De Sciglio; Pellè, Martins
Germany 1-2 Italy
Graziano Pelle to score
Under 2.5 goals in normal time
Venue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Date: Sunday, June 12
World champions Germany open their Euro 2016 campaign with a Group C battle against Ukraine. Despite problems, the Germans are firm favorites to win this duel in Lille.
Ukraine have no injury concerns, while Joachim Low will be hoping star defender Mats Hummels is fit to play his team’s opener.
The Germans are renowned for their big-tournament performances. This time however they enter the Euros in questionable form.
Mykhailo Fomenko’s men are tricky customers and will fully believe they can beat the Germans who lost twice in the qualifying stages.
Ranked 19th in the world, Ukraine are solid at the back but could struggle in the goal-scoring department.
Ukraine have never beaten Germany, with three draws and two defeats in their last five meetings. Interestingly, Ukraine have never lost to Germany at a neutral venue.
While Germany have too much in the tank for their opponents, other teams will be closely watching how Die Mannschaft open their bid to win the Euro 2016
Possible starting XIs
Ukraine: Pyatov; Fedetskiy, Khacheridi, Rakitskiy, Shevchuk; Stepanenko, Sydorchuk, Garmash; Yarmolenko, Konoplyanka; Zozulya.
Germany: Neuer; Höwedes, Mustafi, Boateng, Hector; Kroos, Khedira; Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.
Germany 2-1 Ukraine