Thomas Muller in bullish mood ahead of Germany's semi-final with Italy

The young striker was left out of the starting XI for Germany's quarter-final victory over Greece, and hopes to settle a score by helping his side to go all the way
Germany forward Thomas Muller is hoping that he and his team-mates can give Spain a run for their money at Euro 2012, but knows they face a tough test against Italy in the semi-finals before they can "settle a score" with the reigning European champions.

Muller was only 16 when Germany lost out to Italy at the same stage in the 2006 World Cup on home soil, but believes form is on their side this time round as he looks to help die Mannschaft make amends for the country's defeat to the Azzurri.

"I watched the game at a big public viewing. It was bitter. Fabio Grosso destroyed the dreams of Germany," he was quoted as saying on the German FA's official website.

"I know that there have been some famous battles between Germany and Italy but I also know that what happened in the past is irrelevant for the match on Thursday.

"We are on a good run, we showed what we are capable of so far this tournament. And we did it against top teams like Portugal and Netherlands. They were two important games and two great results that we were very happy about.

"Even against Greece we performed well. It won't be easy against Italy but one can't expect to meet a bad team in the semi-finals of a great tournament." 

Germany coach Joachim Low changed all three of his forwards in the quarter-final win over Greece, including Muller's withdrawal, but the 22-year-old is hoping to be involved on Thursday, although he has no preferred opponent in the finale should they win.

"I hope I can play this time. It hasn't been decided yet. We'll see who the coach decides for," he mused.

"Both Portugal or Spain would be tough nuts to crack. But if I were to pick I would rather not come up against the defending world and European champions.

"Just because there is still a score to settle [with Spain] doesn't mean we would want to play them."

Muller struggled to compare the two tournament favourites, but is desperate to win the title either way after finishing in second place on three occasions for club side Bayern Munich this past season.

"In the world rankings we are right behind them," he continued.

"It is always hard to say who is better or who is worse. If anything, you leave that up to the direct comparison. We have lost against Spain in our last two matches while against the Portuguese, we showed in the group stage that we can beat them.

"I have already become German champion and a cup winner. But the three biggest titles for a footballer are the Champions League, the Euros and the World Cup. I have already missed out on the Champions League twice and this season I was runner up three times with Bayern. I have had enough of second place."