My so-far failsafe way of predicting World Cup outcomes has been stymied. The Wife advises that the guys on the German team are pretty much equally as cute as the guys on the Italian team. This means that if you are betting, you definitely should be taking the Azzurri and the point. The betting market is favoring the Germans by about two to one. Some of that is home-field advantage, surely -- but the thing is, there are a lot of factors on both sides.
Allesandro Nesta still isn't healthy enough to play, but Germany will be without midfielder Torsten Frings, who has been a big part of the game, too, as punishment for a little bit of extracurricular pugilism against an Argentina player after the match. Germany has never lost when they play at Dortmund. But, Italy hasn't given up a goal to its opponents at all this tournament. The only goal counted against Italy, the single point that tied the U.S. in the round-robin matches, was an own goal -- it took an Italian to score on Italy. And, Italy has never lost to Germany in head-to-head competition during the World Cup.
Tomorrow, we'll see which of these two streaks -- the Dortmund streak or Italy just having Germany's number -- will be broken. I'm going to wear my blue shirt and root for the Azzurri and enjoy the game while I make my dish to pass for the Fourth of July party afterwards. Either way, there will be another game after tomorrow for the fans of Italy -- but here's hoping it's for the gold instead of for pride.