GERMANY and Italy will both be seeking to attack instead of opting for caution when they battle today for a place in the final of the European Championship.
Germany must overcome a side they have never beaten at a major soccer tournament if they are to reach their second successive European final after losing to Spain four years ago.
The game, in Warsaw's National Stadium, also revives memories of the 2006 World Cup semifinal in Dortmund, when Italy won 2-0, extra-time, on their way to becoming world champions.
The game is now history for German coach Joachim Loew as his young charges come up against an Italian side under Cesare Prandelli that has shown tactical flexibility and creativity.
"There is no revenge in football. It's over. We cannot do it over. The past doesn't mean anything for us," said Loew of the 2006 semifinal when he was assistant to Juergen Klinsmann.
Loew has a full squad, including a fit Bastian Schweinsteiger, and is considering changing his side again as he works out how best to approach Italy.
Loew had brought in three new attacking players for the 4-2 quarterfinal victory over Greece in the shape of Miroslav Klose, Marco Reus and Andre Schuerrle, but could now restore Mario Gomez, Thomas Mueller or Lukas Podolski against the Azzurri.
"I think the Italians are better than any other team in switching (styles) without losing quality," Loew said. "They are used to that in the Italian league. We are looking at it. But it's only a small part of the plans.
"We want to enforce our rhythm on the Italians. We want to take the initiative and make the Italians deal with our game."
Italy have had injury concerns over midfielder Daniele de Rossi and defenders Ignazio Abate and Giorgio Chiellini, who have all been undergoing physiotherapy.
Chiellini strained a leg muscle during the last game of the group phase against Ireland and missed Italy's quarterfinal victory over England on penalties on Sunday.
Chiellini's return would be much welcomed by Prandelli, whose defence will miss the suspended Christian Maggio while Abate nurses a pulled muscle. Besides worrying about players' availability, Italy have complained about having less time to recover after playing their quarterfinal two days after Germany played theirs against Greece.
Playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who was in the team that beat Germany in 2006, said Italy, seeking a second European title after winning in 1968, were confident after their victory against England.
"Germany are scared of us, also because they look at past defeats. We know we can make it," Pirlo said.