Euro 2012: Mesut Ozil expects Germany to reach final
Euro 2012: Germany v Italy
- Venue: National Stadium, Warsaw
- Date: Thursday, 28 June
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website
Mesut Ozil says Germany will beat Italy in Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final if they play to their potential.
Ozil, 23, knows a German win, coupled with Spain beating Portugal, would see a repeat of the Euro 2008 final.
On that occasion Spain won 1-0, and Ozil wants Germany to make amends.
"I have a feeling Germany might tell Mesut Ozil to stay near Andrea Pirlo, especially from what Jurgen Klinsmann told me about how he stopped Pirlo when the United States beat Italy in a friendly in March."
"If we play to our potential we'll come up winners [against Italy]," he said. "Our objective is to bring the trophy back to Germany. That's what we're here for and I'm convinced we can do it."
The last time Italy faced Germany in a major competition was in Dortmund at the World Cup in 2006.
On that occasion the hosts were stunned by two Italian goals in extra time and were eliminated from the competition at the semi-final stage.
This time around Germany have had an extra 48 hours to prepare, having overcome Greece 4-2 on Friday. Italy saw off England on penalties after a 0-0 draw two days later, but Ozil dismissed suggestions that Germany have an advantage.
"The Italians will have enough of a break," he commented.
"Italy are very strong, they are technically superbly organised. Even against the reigning world champions Spain they had a fantastic game in the group stages.
"They're absolutely rightly there where they belong."
Real Madrid midfielder Ozil set up two of Germany's four goals in the quarter-final win over Greece and is hopeful he can have a similar impact on Thursday.
"I was immensely happy to have shown what I can do at last," he said. "I will demonstrate in the game against Italy that I can put my foot on the pedal."