Germany will look to break Italy's hoodoo over them in major tournament football when the two European giants clash in the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 on Saturday. Both teams have impressed en route to the last eight, and with a semifinal place against either France or Iceland at stake, that A-game business will need to come into play in Bordeaux.
While Germany, who are yet to beat Italy in eight major tournament matches, topped their group with two wins and a draw, Italy were quite impressive in a difficult group, before taking that form into the last 16 match against Spain, where they put in a faultless performance.
The way Italy nullified Spain's threat was a thing to behold, showing just how astute a tactician Antonio Conte is. Conte will need to be at his tactical best, yet again, if he is to stop the Germany juggernaut.
"We're moving up and the air is getting thinner all the time," Conte told EURO 2016's official website with a smile. "It's going to be more difficult to breathe and we know this is a difficult test. But trying doesn't cost anything.
"We didn't get this far by chance. We got here with some good play and we know we're now probably playing against the strongest team of them all. But we still start at 0-0.
"There may be barriers too difficult to overcome, but it's also true that in sport, on the eve of any match -- even if there is always a favourite -- the result is never predictable."
What is predictable, though, is that Germany will come at Italy hard, looking to breach the brilliant back-three of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli early, before trying to find a way past the evergreen Gianluigi Buffon.
After a bit of a stuttering start, Germany have grown from strength to strength, with their attacking displays looking a lot better as Euro 2016 has progressed. That is an ominous sign if you are in the Italy camp, because if Germany turn up in the mood, like they were against Slovakia in the pre-quarterfinals, even Conte's side will find it difficult to stop them.
It all depends on how well Italy can snuff out Toni Kroos' impact from midfield, because the Real Madrid man is the one who makes this Germany side tick. While in Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Julian Draxler, Germany have a potent playmaking/goalscoring trio behind Mario Gomez, Kroos is the key to ensuring the Germans function like a machine.
Germany manager Joachim Low knows Italy will give his team their toughest test yet, and he will hope his defence, midfield and attack are all in sync. "It's about the details now," Low told reporters. "We have our own ideas about what happens in defence and attack, but most of the preparation has already been done.
"We're confident because we're aware of our strengths. But it's about the opposition as well -- the stronger they are, the more we have to address their strengths."
Where to Watch Live
Germany vs Italy -- the third Euro 2016 quarterfinal -- is set to begin at 9 p.m. CET (12.30 a.m. IST, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET). The TV and live streaming is below.
Germany: TV: SRF, ARD and ORF1.
Italy: TV: Sky Sport 1 Italia. Live Streaming: Sky Go Italia.
France: TV: TF1 and Bein Sports 1. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Australia: TV: Bein Sports Australia 1. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Australia Connect.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: Bein Max 1, 2 and 3. Live Streaming: Bein SportsConnect.
Singapore: TV: Eleven Singapore, ABS-CBN and Singtel. Live Streaming: Singtel Go.
Malaysia: TV: Astro SuperSport. Live Streaming: Astro Go.
China and Hong Kong: TV: CCTV and LeTV.
Thailand: TV: Channel 3 and CTH.
USA: TV: ESPN 2 and ESPN 3. Live Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: TSN1, TSN5 and RDS. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Latin America: TV: DirecTV.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: SuperSport 3. Live Streaming: SuperSport.