WARSAW (Sporting Alert) — Cesare Prandelli is backing his midfield to lead the way when Italy takes on Germany in their Euro 2012 semi-finals tonight.
The Italian middle, headed by the veteran Andrea Pirlo, has indeed been its brightest spark in the tournament thus far and Prandelli expects that area to dominate again against Germany.
He said: “We’ve got one of the best midfields in European football – we have flair, technical ability and a physicality.
“Germany will press high up the pitch. We’re ready for this and need to keep the ball to counter it.”
The forward line will again be led by Mario Balotelli, while captain Gianluigi Buffon will head up things from the back.
Meanwhile, Germany recalls leading frontman Mario Gomez for the clash after starting on the bench against Greece.
The Bayern Munich forward replaces Miroslav Klose, while Lukas Podolski returns and Bastian Schweinsteiger recovers from an injury to take his place also.
Germany: Neuer, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm, Boateng, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Özil, Kroos, Podolski, Gomez Subs: Wiese, Zieler, Schmelzer, Höwedes, Mertesacker, Gündoğan, Schürrle, Müller, Bender, Götze, Reus, Klose.
Italy: Buffon, Chiellini, Balzaretti, Barzagli, Bonucci, Marchisio, De Rossi, Montolivo, Pirlo, Balotelli, Cassano
Subs: Sirigu, De Sanctis, Ogbonna, Abate, Motta, Giaccherini, Diamanti, Nocerino, Di Natale, Borini, Giovinco.