Podolski looks to break hoodoo

Lukas Podolski says it is time for Germany to end their miserable record against Italy in tournament football.

Last Updated: 27/06/12 at 07:23 Post Comment

Podolski: Looking to end Italy's run

Podolski: Looking to end Italy's run

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Germany will go into Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final having never beaten Italy in seven previous tournament matches.

The last of those was in the final four of the 2006 World Cup in Germany when the Italians scored twice in the dying minutes of extra time on their way to winning the tournament.

Joachim Low's men will start as favourites this time, though, having won their four games in Poland and Ukraine so far.

"It's the time to break that series," Podolski said in an interview with Bild newspaper.

"Since 2006 we have improved enormously. Today we have a whole different philosophy and a different team. The Italians also know that.

"One thing is clear - we want to be in the final, so we have to beat the Italians. Therefore, this will hopefully be the end for Italy in this European Championship."

Podolski was left out of the starting XI for the 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece, with the 21-year-old Andre Schurle preferred, but the Arsenal new boy's experience is expected to get him the nod against Italy.

Also set to play is midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, whom coach Low revealed is fully fit and ready to start the game.

The Bayern Munich player has been struggling with an ankle problem and Low admitted he was "poor" in the 4-2 quarter-final victory over Greece.

But Low said: "Schweinsteiger had problems, but it's not as if these were hindering him.

"Against Greece he was poor, but he realises that himself. Against Italy that won't happen.

"There are only 100 per cent fit players. No player will run out if he is only operating at 80 or 90 per cent capacity.

"All players are fit, I assume Schweinsteiger will play."

Italy scraped past England on penalties to reach the last four, although they were the better side over the 120 minutes, with midfielder Andrea Pirlo especially impressive.

But Low claimed he would not be asking anyone to man-mark the Juventus player.

"That would make no sense," he said.

Low admitted, though, the team his side will face on Thursday are a very different outfit from the one which failed to make it out of the group at the last World Cup.

"The Italians have a very different team from 2010 and excellent progress behind them," he added.

"They have good strengths, a lot of quality. But we also know where their weaknesses lie, where they have their problems.

"We have to bring our own game, not focus so much on the opponents. If we manage to do that, then we have a good chance."

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Tottenham strike deal for Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Montpellier for defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, according to the French club.

Transfer news: Chelsea confirm agreement with AC Milan for two-year Fernando Torres loan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Europa League: Roberto Martinez happy Everton start and finish at home

Roberto Martinez is happy with the way the fixtures have worked out for Everton in their tough Europa League draw.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property