Old foes Germany and Italy to battle

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Italy_train REUTERS The Italy squad are struggling with injuries.

Warsaw – Germany's bid to reach the Euro 2012 final by beating Italy for the first time in 17 years on Thursday looks strong with Joachim Loew's young side on song while Cesare Prandelli's team have injury doubts.

The Germans will be wary however, as when they last met in a competitive outing at the 2006 World Cup on home soil the Italians crashed their party with a 2-0 semi-final win, Germany's first loss in Dortmund.

Loew's tournament pacesetters also know they have failed to beat Italy in seven tournament encounters but will be confident of setting up a meeting with holders Spain in Kiev on Sunday.

Germany have scored the most goals at Euro 2012 (nine) and have won all four matches so far, while Italy have had two days less rest heading into their 8.45pm clash at the National Staium in Warsaw.

Italy, who have only won one match in 90 minutes in Ukraine and Poland, could also be missing defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Ignazio Abate while midfielder Daniele De Rossi, like Abate, came off with a muscle injury in the quarter-final against England that went to penalties.

Germany's sole concern is midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is nursing a nagging ankle injury and has yet to peak in this tournament but Loew has said he should start. – Reuters

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