Podolski: We must end hoodoo

The records show Germany have never beaten Italy in tournament football and Lukas Podolski reckons it is time for that run to come to an end in their Euro 2012 semi-final (Germany 10/11, draw 12/5, Italy 7/2 – Match Betting).

It is no win in seven international tournament games for Germany against their Italian rivals, but Joachim Low’s men will start Thursday’s game as favourites given their impressive performances in Poland and Ukraine to date.

Germany boast a 100% record at Euro 2012 and Podolski is set to return to the line-up, after Low preferred Andre Schurle for the 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece, and he has eyes on breaking his side’s hex when it comes to facing Italy.

The last tournament meeting between the two teams came in the 2006 World Cup semi-final, where Italy won thanks to a late goal in extra-time, but the Arsenal forward reckons this Germany team under Low is a much-transformed outfit (Germany – 13/8 Outright).

He told Bild newspaper: “It’s the time to break that series.

“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.”

The winner of the game will face the victor from Tuesday night’s first semi-final, where defending champions Spain take on Portugal (Portugal 7/2, draw 12/5, Spain 10/11 – Match Betting).

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