#360fans preview: Germany vs Italy - Euro 2016 quarters

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Mesut Ozil & Giorgio Chiellini: Key men

Ahead of their gigantic last eight tussle, UAE-based fans of Germany and Italy preview the game.

To gain an insight into the mindset of the fans we asked them to share their predictions, likely line-ups and players to watch.

Do you agree or have they missed the mark? Use #360fans to let us know your thoughts on Twitter.

GERMANY – Frank Scheunert (Hedge Fund Manager, Dubai)

Germany have now produced two impressive attacking performances in a row – both yielding possession of above 70 per cent – while we have also yet to concede a single goal so far in Euro 2016.

Nevertheless, the game against Italy will be totally different strategically as the Azzurri have once again proven defensively masterful at this tournament. They started off with a great display against Belgium and followed that up with a remarkable performance against Spain, winning 2-0 despite only having 25 per cent possession in the match.

Antonio Conte’s team will be difficult opposition to overcome, though I think the ageing Gianluigi Buffon may be a weak spot, and Germany know only too well that Italy are capable of another upset having lost to them in the Euro 2012 semi-finals.

Italy might have a couple of important leaders missing, with Thiago Motta suspended and Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Candreva potentially out with injury, which should bring a level of confidence. Indeed, with Germany at full strength we should be feeling very optimistic about our chances of possession. We showed perseverance against Northern Ireland and will need the same again if we are to break down Italy.

PREDICTION: Germany 1-0 Italy

LIKELY GERMANY XI: Neuer; Höwedes, J. Boateng, Mustafi, Hummels; Khedira, T. Kroos; T. Müller, Özil, Draxler; Gomez.

GERMANY PLAYER TO WATCH: Thomas Muller – I feel like a broken record here but this has GOT to be the game that Muller finally opens his account for the tournament. The Bayern Munich forward has had plenty of chances and it’s only a matter of time he finds the net.

ITALY PLAYER TO FEAR: Giorgio Chiellini – He is having a wonderful tournament and has shown his quality – able to play against all sorts of forward lines and still keep them out, he’s a wily centre-back and the battle between him and Muller could be intriguing.

WHERE TO WATCH THE GAME: ON42 at the Media One Hotel – around 600 German fans are expected!

ITALY – Colin Scicluna (Teacher, Dubai)

Dare I dream? Dare I shed the pessimism? As I write, my hands shake with pride at what this Italy team have accomplished. A confident, cynical, talented, well-organised Azzurri took the Spanish to school on Monday.

We thought once Franco Baresi retired we would suffer and then Paolo Maldini came along. We thought once Maldini hung up his boots we would be doomed and then came Fabio Cannavaro. Now, we have Giorgo Chiellini and co. carrying this mantle of Italian defenders with skill and substance. Antonio Conte put the Spanish in a corner with dogged pressure high in their half and with the quick transitions from defence to attack. He shouted, cried, kicked the ball in the stands, jumped on the subs bench and rejoiced when Graziano Pelle sealed the match up in Lille on Monday. This was his victory. Roman Abramovich and Chelsea fans must be licking their lips!

It’s been a ridiculous, beautiful journey, and now we have Germany. Back in Italy, everyone is wondering who did the draws for this tournament. How can one half be so much tougher than the other? However, we have more pressing concerns than lady luck. Thiago Motta picked up his second yellow of the tournament against Spain and will miss the clash, while Daniele De Rossi is injured and now doubtful. This leaves a gaping hole in midfield and Conte will have to tinker once again.

The Germans look really good in this tournament and will also be seething at the fact that they have never beaten Italy at a major international championship. Hopefully this will not be the first time!

PREDICTION: Germany 0-0 Italy (Italy to win on penalties)

LIKELY ITALY XI: Buffon, Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli, Florenzi, Parolo, Giaccherini, De Sciglio, Sturaro, Pelle, Eder.

ITALY PLAYER TO WATCH: Mattia De Sciglio – The full-back had a poor season with Milan but with this Italy team, he is really making an impact. His marauding runs on the left wing mean he is a great attacking outlet, while he has been defensively disciplined too.

GERMANY PLAYER TO FEAR: Mesut Ozil – He may have missed a penalty in the last game but overall he has made this Germany team tick at Euro 2016. He will need to be patient if he is to unlock the Azzurri backline though!

WHERE TO WATCH: Barasti, where the Spanish fans will now surely support Germany but the Italian fans will still be loud!

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Euro 2016 Player of the Day: Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

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Aaron Ramsey.

A bittersweet night for the Arsenal man who put in a sublime performance, surpassing his man of the match display in the 3-0 win against Russia in the group stage.

Set up Wales’ first two goals to become one of only two players to record two assists in the same game in European Championship history.

Was calm and assured in possession and again put in another disciplined shift to protect his defence.

The only blemish on an otherwise perfect night was an unfortunate booking for a clumsy handball which now rules him out of the semi-final with Portugal.

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Wales advance to Euro 2016 semis

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a sensational goal as Wales came from behind to stun Belgium 3-1 in the Euro 2016 quarter-final in Lille and reach their first major tournament semi-final.

Wales talisman Gareth Bale will now go head-to-head with his Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo when the tournament's last British representatives face Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday.

Here, Sport360's Matt Jones looks back on their historic victory over Belgium and assesses their chances against Portugal.









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