Argentina legend Diego Maradona believes Italy may have the firepower to beat Germany in Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final.
Despite Germany producing a clinical attacking display in the quarter-final against a relatively weak Greece team, Maradona believes the Azzurri should take confidence from the two goals Joachim Loew’s side conceded.
Maradona wrote in his Indian Times column: “Coach Loew favours an offensive team. He likes his team to push up the field, to play quick, and take advantage of lapses in opposing defences.
“If one can pick a weakness in the German machine, it’s the defence.
“Against Greece, a quick counter-attack by Salpingidis and Samaras, exposed Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, and Philipp Lahm, and beat a surprised Manuel Neuer. If Greece can score on this German defence, so can Italy.”
Maradona also believes the hot-headed Mario Balotelli will prove the key to Italy’s success and that the Manchester City man must explode into life and fire his country into a final clash with Spain.
“The Italian forwards Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano have scored only one goal each in this championship,” he continued.
“Against England, the forwards had eight chances, two posts and zero goals.
“This, despite excellent opportunities that came their way.
“The Italians will try to achieve control, defend with order, and hope that Balotelli can finally explode.”