Headed into their Euro 2012 semi-final as 7/2 underdogs to win in normal time, many will be surprised to learn that Italy have an unblemished record against their opponents Germany.
Such a record stems from five meetings in the time since Germany became a unified national side again, of which Italy have won two and drawn three.
Even during the time of the division though, Italy managed to avoid defeat in three West Germany encounters, meaning their total record against German sides reads three victories and five draws from eight clashes.
As five of these matches came in major tournaments, punters could be encouraged to take on 7/4 odds about Italian qualification on Thursday night.
Draws have been the most commonly occurring result in this fixture, and Italy got to this stage via a penalty shootout success over England after a stalemate too.
That was Cesare Prandelli’s side’s third draw in just four tournament outings in Poland and Ukraine, and that outcome may be worth backing again at 9/4 in the semi-final.
Also worth noting is the fact that Germany crashed out of their last major tournament at the semi-final stage, so a repeat of that looks possible this week too.
Italy’s vast improvement since entering into tournament football also bodes well for them heading into Thursday’s clash with Germany.
The Italians had lost three consecutive games prior to Euro 2012, and failed to score in any of those outings too.
However, since their arrival in Poland and Ukraine, Prandelli’s men have improved markedly in both attacking and defensive departments, as proved by their four goal haul in as many outings.
They have also been breached only twice, and have kept clean sheets in each of their past two matches, including their quarter-final tie with England.
When last winning a major tournament back in 2006, Italy kept a clean sheet in the quarter-final, before besting Germany at the semi-final stage, which seems a good omen for Italy backers on Thursday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.