Three players to watch in Germany's quarter final with Italy

Italy Training - EURO 2016

One man linked with West Ham and a Southampton star could have a big say in today's quarter final.

Italy Training - EURO 2016Italy Training - EURO 2016

It's a mouth watering quarter-final in prospect at Euro 2016 today as Germany take on Italy in Bordeaux for a place in the last four. 

They are two big names in international football with eight World Cups and four European championships between them, it promises to be a fascinating encounter.

As for this tournament, both sides have been very solid at the back - with just the one goal conceded between them.

Italy have come up with two of the best performances of the tournament so far having beaten Belgium in their opening game and knocking out holders Spain in the previous round. In between they had victories over Sweden and a defeat to the Republic of Ireland when they had assured top spot in their group.

Germany started slowly but their performance level seems to moving up a level. They won their opening game against Ukraine relatively comfortably though they did struggle to a 0-0 draw against a well drilled Poland side. 

They started to show why they won the World Cup two years earlier with their impressive performance against Northern Ireland - with a terrific goalkeeping display from Michael McGovern preventing their margin of victory from being more handsome. 

They were impressive in a 3-0 win over Slovakia in the last-16 and it could have been more. They are going to face a stern test against Antonio Conte's side. 

Here are three players who could have a big say:

Mario Gomez

Germany's Mario Gomez celebrates after scoring their first goalGermany's Mario Gomez celebrates after scoring their first goal

Germany have looked a bit better with Gomez's inclusion in the side, and he has repaid them with two goals in the competition so far. He seems to be well liked as the Mario Gomez button site has crashed on both occasions he has scored. 

The Fiorentina striker has also been attracting the interest of West Ham United according to the Standard, and will have a big task this evening against a stern Italian defence.

Graziano Pelle

Italy's Graziano Pelle scores their second goalItaly's Graziano Pelle scores their second goal

The Southampton striker has mastered the emphatic volley at this tournament as he's finished off both the games against Belgium and Spain in such style. There is a chance the Italy front man could be looking for a new club, given he has entered the last year of his contract. Some clubs in his homeland will have been impressed with the performances he has put in so far. 

The Express reported last month that he could be moving to another Premier League club. 

Jerome Boateng

Germany's Jerome Boateng scores their first goalGermany's Jerome Boateng scores their first goal

Solid at the back throughout the tournament thus far, and provides a goal threat whenever he is at the opposite end of the field. He has been one of the main reasons that Germany have yet to have been breached by putting in a series of commanding performances. 

Italy have been pretty ruthless in the final third at this tournament so far, so concentration from Boateng and the rest of the back four is going to be paramount if they are to make their way to the last four. 

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