Five things Germany, Italy must do to win

England midfielder Scott Parker tries to tackle Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo during their Euro...

England midfielder Scott Parker tries to tackle Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo during their Euro 2012 quarterfinal match at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, June 24, 2012. (GLEB GARANICH/Reuters)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:20 PM ET

The five things Germany and Italy must do to win their Euro 2012 semifinal.

1. STOP THE MUSIC

He's no Andrea Bocelli but he makes everyone dance to the song he sings. Andrea Pirlo has had a magnificent Euro tournament. When the ball's at his feet, he orchestrates what happens with both teams. Germany has to find someone to stop him.

2. STEP UP, SCHWEINSTEIGER

Sebastian Schweinsteiger has the kind of face that defines toughness, yet he's been the most disappointing of the German midfielders. An ankle injury has slowed him down but he needs to claim the turf as his own.

3. NOT-SO-SUPER MARIO

Getting 10% might get you suspended from school. Mario Balotelli has to do better than scoring one goal in at least 10 good chances. That will get you a spot on the bench. Young Mario has to score against Germany because he won't get as many good looks as he did against England.

4. GIT' ER DONE

Don't wait for the kicks from the penalty spot. Italy would be wise to surprise the Germans and go right after them. If Italy can score a quick one, the game will open right up and give the Italians more opportunities to score.

5. CHILL OUT, DUDES

Don't worry, be happy Germany. Don't let the pressure of having to beat Italy play into the game. So far, you've been the best team in the tournament. Keep playing the same way. (Just remember, you haven't beaten them in a game that means something ... ever.)


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