Italy coach Marcello Lippi sprung no surprises when he named his team for the World Cup semi-final showdown against host nation Germany.
Lippi kept faith with all but one of the side that crushed Ukraine 3-0 in the previous round, the only change seeing Marco Materazzi return from suspension to take his place at the heart of Italy’s defence.
Luca Toni again operated as a lone striker, with playmaker Francesco Totti playing behind him in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Germany boss Jurgen Klinsmann made two changes to the team that beat Argentina on penalties.
Sebastien Kehl replaced suspended midfielder Torsten Frings, while Tim Borowski earned a place in the team after Bastian Schweinsteiger was dropped for tactical reasons.
Fans started taking their seats at the Westfalen Stadion in Dortmund two hours prior to kick off.
Germany v Italy teams
Germany: Lehmann, Friedrich, Metzelder, Mertesacker, Lahm, Borowski, Ballack, Kehl, Schneider, Klose, Podolski.
Subs: Jansen, Huth, Nowotny, Schweinsteiger, Hanke, Neuville, Kahn, Asamoah, Hitzlsperger, Odonkor, Hildebrand.
Italy: Buffon, Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Materazzi, Grosso, Camoranesi, Perrotta, Gattuso, Pirlo, Totti, Toni.
Subs: Zaccardo, Barzagli, Del Piero, Gilardino, Peruzzi, Nesta, Amelia, Iaquinta, Barone, Inzaghi, Oddo.
Referee: Benito Archundia Tellez (Mexico)