Saturday's quarter-final showdown between Germany and Italy is set to be one of the most compelling contests of Euro 2016 thus far.
Both sides come into this match in fine form; the world champions produced a magnificent performance in their defeat of Slovakia on Sunday, while the Azzurri fully deserved their 2-0 triumph over holders Spain in Saint-Denis.
Victory in Bordeaux will see Joachim Low's side reach their sixth successive semi-final at a major tournament and, given that they are yet to concede a goal at this summer's showpiece, Die Mannschaft will be confident of claiming victory. Germany, however, will have the weight of history against them: remarkably, they have never beaten the Azzurri at a major tournament - a record that now stretches to eight matches.
Indeed, Italy have come out on top in each of the four meetings between the nations in the knockout stages of major competitions and Antonio Conte's charges will be desperate to extend that proud record here.
The Italians are chalked up as a 3/1 (4.0) chance with Paddy Power to win inside 90 minutes, while the odds compilers offer 11/8 (2.38) that it is the Azzurri who take their place in the last four of the competition.
Low's side, though, will hold few fears, for they claimed an emphatic 4-1 victory when these two teams met in Munich just three months ago and Die Mannschaft will fancy their chances of avenging the agonising 2-1 defeat that they suffered against the Azzurri in the semi-finals of this competition in 2012.
Germany can be backed at 6/5 (2.20) with Paddy Power to justify favouritism with a win in normal time, while the same firm offer just 4/7 (1.57) that the world champions move into the last four at the expense of Conte's charges.
Between them, these two teams have conceded just one goal at Euro 2016 - Robbie Brady's late header for Republic of Ireland against a much-changed Azzurri in Italy's final group game - and, with both sides seemingly watertight, the 2/1 (3.0) quote from Paddy Power for the match to remain level at the end of 90 minutes may well prove popular with punters.
Germany boast a remarkable scoring record in this competition, with Low's men failing to find the net in just two of their last 16 matches at European Championships. Die Mannschaft, though, had managed just two clean sheets in 10 matches prior to opening their campaign in France - with one of those clean sheets coming against Gibraltar in qualifying.
Germany's defensive discipline has rarely been tested in this tournament, but that is likely to change against an in-form and confident Italian side that could and should have scored more than two goals in a dominant display against Vicente Del Bosque's men in the previous round.
The success of both sides may be built upon solid foundations, but there have been goals scored at both ends in five of the most recent six meetings between the teams. The 6/5 (2.20) quote from Paddy Power for that trend to continue in Bordeaux offers outstanding value and punters, therefore, are encouraged to snap up the generous odds-against quote for both teams to score on Saturday night.
|Both teams to score at 6/5 (2.20) for a 2pt stake with Paddy Power|