Bayern's Jerome Boateng scored his first Germany goal in the 3-0 win over Slovakia last weekend. - © gettyimages
Bayern's Jerome Boateng scored his first Germany goal in the 3-0 win over Slovakia last weekend. - © gettyimages

Neuer and Boateng relaxed ahead of Germany's Italy test

Germany face Italy in the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2016 on Saturday night (kick-off: 20:00CEST/18:00GMT), with the world champions looking to reach the last four of a European Championship for the third successive tournament and simultaneously to bury a decade-old hex.

Die Nationalmannschaft have failed to beat Italy in the sides' last eight meetings at a major tournament, a run stretching back to a goalless draw at the FIFA World Cup in Chile in 1962.

The Squadra Azzurra knocked Germany out of UEFA EURO 2012 at the semi-final stage, Mario Balotelli netting a brace in a 2-1 triumph in Kiev.

Germany did prevail 4-1 in a friendly at the Allianz Arena in March, however, and although Jerome Boateng missed that one through injury, the FC Bayern München centre-back is approaching this last-eight clash in confident mood.

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Possible line-ups

To that end, Boateng left open the intriguing possibility that Germany might switch to a back three for the first time this tournament in order to match up with Antonio Conte's side. "So far we've played with a back four and that’s worked well," he said. "But we're capable of playing both."

Germany: Neuer (c)– Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector – Kroos, Khedira – Müller, Özil, Draxler - Gomez

Coach: Joachim Löw

Italy: Buffon (c) - Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini - Florenzi, Sturaro, Parolo, Giaccherini, De Sciglio - Pelle, Eder

Coach: Antonio Conte

- © imago