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Meet the quarter-final opposition: Germany

Our man in the camp Steffen Potter gives you the lowdown on Joachim Löw's world champions and explains why this might be the year Germany end their Italy hex.

Meet the quarter-final opposition: Germany
Meet the quarter-final opposition: Germany ©AFP/Getty Images

Nickname: Mannschaft

Story so far: A perceived weakness at the back dominated the pre-tournament talk about the FIFA World Cup holders but, four games in, they are the only team yet to concede. Following a convincing last-16 win against Slovakia, it seems things are falling into place at just the right time. Been there, done that.

Route to last eight: 2-0 Ukraine, 0-0 Poland, 1-0 Northern Ireland, 3-0 Slovakia

Boateng lashes in the last-16 opener
Boateng lashes in the last-16 opener©Getty Images

Star performer: Defences have excelled in France and Germany are no different. Centre-back Jérôme Boateng has been rock-solid, creative going forward and even scored his first Germany goal in 63 outings.

Best moment: That first goal for Boateng. Taken off early in the Northern Ireland game with a calf injury, he was a pre-match doubt against the Slovaks. Yet there was no sign of a problem when he rifled in from the edge of the box before running over to celebrate with the medical team.

Strengths: Joachim Löw's side are slick going forward and good in possession, they win the ball back quickly and they show great movement and interchanging – and of course they have still to ship a goal.

Weaknesses: Germany have been almost criminally profligate when it comes to converting chances, topping it off with a missed penalty against Slovakia. They could pay dearly in the latter stages of the competition.

Germany and Italy’s past EURO meetings

Quarter-final prediction: The old nemesis, Italy. Germany have never beaten the Azzurri in a competitive fixture. They have never been in a better position though, and I believe they can finally put that one to bed. Then again, I said the same before the 2012 semi-final ...

What are they singing? Die Nummer eins der Welt sind wir (The number one in the world are we).

Celebrity fans: Boris Becker (ex-tennis player), Angela Merkel (Chancellor), Nico Rosberg (racing driver), Dirk Nowitzki (basketball player), Sabine Lisicki (tennis player)

Tell us something we didn't know: Many are aware that Jérôme Boateng's brother is Ghanaian international Kevin-Prince Boateng. But less well-known is the third Boateng brother, George. He almost followed the family trade before taking up rapping.