Germany target eighth final
03 Jul 2006 - 17:53:53
Hosts Germany aim to reach their eighth World Cup Final when they meet Italy in Dortmund on Tuesday.
However, they will be without midfielder Torsten Frings who was suspended by FIFA for his part in the post-match brawl that marred Germany's quarter-final success against Argentina.
Frings was found guilty of throwing a punch at Argentina forward Julio Ricardo Cruz in the fracas that followed Germany's shootout win on Friday.
The 29-year-old Werder Bremen star has started every game of Germany's World Cup campaign so far and coach Jurgen Klinsmann may bring in either Tim Borowski or Sebastian Kehl to replace him.
In better news for Klinsmann, captain Michael Ballack and top scorer Miroslav Klose will be fit after shrugging off minor injuries.
Italy are almost certain to be without key defender Alessandro Nesta as they go in search of their fourth World Cup finals triumph and their first since 1982, when they beat West Germany 3-1 in the final in Spain.
Nesta has been sidelined since limping out of the final group game against the Czech Republic.
However, Marco Materazzi is available after serving his ban following his red card in the last-gasp second round victory against Australia but Mauro Camoranesi is struggling with a knee injury.
Alberto Gilardino looks set to replace Camoranesi as the Italians aim to build on the comfortable 3-0 win against Ukraine in the quarter-finals. Daniel De Rossi will serve the last of a four-match suspension following his red card in the tempestuous group game against the USA.
In 28 games between the two sides, Italy have the edge winning 13 times to Germany's seven and won 4-3 after extra-time at the same stage of the tournament 36 years ago.
Italy also thrashed Germany 4-1 in a friendly international in Florence earlier this year. Gilardino, Luca Toni, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Del Piero netted for the hosts with Robert Huth grabbing a late consolation goal for the Germans.