I miss seeing Peter Gammons regularly on ESPN. Here he visits Morning Joe and discusses the new season, including the challenges facing the New York Yankees and the potential of the Washington Nationals.
Most of the experts think that Germany can easily handle the Italian side in tomorrow’s Euro 2012 semifinal and one can hardly blame them given what we’ve seen from Germany so far. As usual, the Germans are living up to their pre-tournament billing with dominating performances in their first four games. In the quarterfinals, Germany easily handle Greece in a 4-2 victory.
Italy, on the other hand, has played well with a more aggressive style. But even though they thoroughly outplayed England, they had to close the game with a penalty shootout in order to seal the win after a scoreless tie in regulation.
While Italy is a traditional power, few are giving them much of a chance against a Germany team that many assumed would face Spain in the final.
There are several factors, however, that could help the Italians pull off the upset.
First, this is a typical Italian team with plenty of talent. The Italians know how to win big games as Germany found out in the 2006 World Cup, And while this Italian team isn’t nearly as good as the 2006 champions, it is very deep with quality players.
Next is the Pirlo factor. Andrea Pirlo is one of the best midfielders in the world and he completely dominated against England. He also had one of the craftiest penalty kicks in recent memory to help the Italians win that match.
And finally, we have the Balotelli factor. Mario Balotelli Barwuah is a total wild card with amazing talent despite his volatile personality. If he gets hot and has a good game, Italy can beat anyone.
This is a matchup of two soccer titans so check it out on Thursday.