thumbnail Hello,

The 52-year-old praised the work of Cesare Prandelli but was adamant that his side must overturn their poor record against the Azzurri when they meet on Thursday

Joachim Low believes that the time has come for Germany to overcome their struggles of the past and defeat Italy in a major tournament.

Die Mannschaft have failed to come out on top against the Azzurri in four previous World Cup and two European Championship meetings.

They will go head-to-head once more in the Euro 2012 semi-final on Thursday, and the 52-year-old trainer believes that they will finally break the curse.

"It is true that we have always found it difficult against the Italians, but this time will be different. The time is now ripe to win against Italy," Low told Welt Online.

"I've been thinking of February 2011, when we played a 1-1 draw with the Italians. What we have experienced and seen here is the new Italy.

"This does not have much in common with the Italy of before. The Italians have changed to a completely different style under Cesare Prandelli.

"They are now playing much more aggressively than you would expect from an Italian team.

"Prandelli once said that they must be oriented towards the German team, playing offensively and with a change in the age structure, to use more young players.

"And he has succeeded in this, so there is no definite favourite for the semi-final. Italy are a very stable team with a continually good defence and now a strong attack."

Low remained coy over whether he will make any changes to his side, but suggested that there could be a surprise in store.

"There is a match plan of course. We will play our game and not change dramatically. Against Italy it will be crucial that we take our own game and execute our philosophy.

"The question is: which players are suited to this? I wonder now: what weaknesses do Italy have? And who among us can take advantage? Let yourself be surprised."

Germany take on Italy in Warsaw on Thursday evening, with the victor earning a spot in Sunday's final against Spain or Portugal.

Related

From the web