Giorgio Chiellini is backing Italy's next generation to shine on Wednesday and says it will be strange lining up without Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo.
Cesare Prandelli has opted for youth in his latest Azzurri squad, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Marco Verratti, Salvatore Sirigu and Antonio Candreva set to start the match.
"Without Buffon and Pirlo we are losing two reference points, both for Juventus and the national team," Chiellini told reporters.
"It'll be weird without them, but tomorrow can be a great stage to test young talents like Sirigu, Verratti and El Shaarawy.
"We need to find a good result. We have improved a great deal, but still need that step up in quality."
Chiellini faces one of his former coaches in Didier Deschamps, and had only positive words to say about the France coach.
"Deschamps was an important coach during my growth process and I will salute him with affection before the game," he said.
"He put me in central defence during a rather unusual season in Serie B and I am happy he has achieved the dream of every coach - to be in charge of his own country."
Mario Balotelli said the 2-1 win against Germany was "one of the best nights of my life", but he is hoping it only remains so for another 72 hours as he sets his sights on Spain.
Mario Balotelli was left reflecting on "one of the best nights of my life" after taking his UEFA EURO 2012 tally to three with both Italy's goals in their 2-1 victory over Germany. Yet with the final whistle almost still audible, he and centre-backs Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli were already setting their sights on Spain in Sunday's final.
Mario Balotelli, Italy forward
A great performance but we suffered a little bit in the end. It could have been prevented, but that's how it goes. The most important thing is the result and that we won. The first goal was from great cross from Antonio [Cassano], while the second came from a fantastic pass by [Riccardo] Montolivo and, well, I shot and scored! There's always been aggressiveness, always the desire to score; maybe I was just missing a bit of luck.
We don't have to fear [Spain] and their ball possession. We have already scored against them, we are as strong as them if not more so. This is one of the best nights of my life but I hope it will be even better against Spain. Spain have another way of playing compared to Germany, but we know our strengths and we are able to play against anyone.
Giorgio Chiellini, Italy defender
It was a great match against a great team. We were really convinced we could play well and win. We've studied Germany's great qualities, but we were convinced we could make it hard for them and we were very good in front of goal, and battling together until the 95th minute. In the end, the margin in terms of the final result was pretty small.
Obviously, I was not in top physical condition. I was a little tired, but I put in my share and I was able to be useful for my team as a physical presence on the pitch. Now we need to improve, because on Sunday we need to be even better. Every team has its strengths and weaknesses. We've already faced Spain and we played well. We know they are the favourites to win this tournament, but looking at [how well] we did today, we feel we can beat them.
Andrea Barzagli, Italy defender
We've played an extraordinary game against a very strong side and we deserved to win. We led 2-0 and had opportunities to score a third. Then, well, we suffered a bit during the last two to three minutes, because they're strong; but we should get the credit we deserve. We could have avoided a nervy conclusion to the game but in the end the most important thing is that we won.
Our defence is always well organised. It doesn't matter if someone is absent, because there is [always] someone else who can play; someone who knows what to do, who knows how to put in a great effort. We're a squad full of important players, every one of us. Balotelli did well, but this a team victory; because after all [a team effort] brings out the [quality of an] individual player and he proved to be a strong player. Well, not only him, but the whole team.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has been passed fit for Thursday's Euro 2012 semi-final clash against Germany, his brother and agent has declared.
The Juventus man has been out of action since picking up a hamstring strain in the group match against Republic of Ireland - an injury which saw him miss the Azzurri's quarter-final win over England.
Italy doctor doctor Enrico Castellacci stated on Tuesday that he was optimistic about Chiellini's recovery, and the 27-year-old's representative has now intimated that his client could feature against the Germans.
"I can say that Giorgio is again at the disposal of coach Cesare Prandelli, has recovered from his injury and could be on the pitch against Germany," Claudio Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia.
"I hope that he can start, but this will depend on the coach's selection and the system that he picks.
"This was a delicate injury, but Italy's doctors did a great job to recover him in record time."
Chiellini played in all of Italy's group matches at Euro 2012, where the Azzurri picked up two draws and one victory.
Giorgio Chiellini is optimistic that he will be able to make his return from injury in Italy's Euro 2012 semi-final clash with Germany on Thursday.
The Juventus defender missed Sunday's quarter-final against England after suffering a hamstring strain in the Azzurri's final outing in Group C, against Republic of Ireland.
However, Chiellini revealed after watching his team-mates' dramatic penalty shoot-out success in Kiev that he could be fit to face the Germans in Warsaw.
"I feel better," the versatile centre-back told reporters in the mixed zone. "We'll see in the next few days but I hope and I think that I can play on Thursday."
Chiellini is understandably desperate to be available for the game as he knows full well that the Azzurri are going up against a terrific side in Germany.
"It'll be very difficult," he acknowledged. "But then, that's normal. In the semi-finals, all the teams are always very strong.
"But we'll have to prepare well in the next few days. We have seen Germany play and they have now won 15 matches in a row. They are the strongest team in Europe, along with Spain."
However, Chiellini has the utmost faith in Italy, arguing that they have already proven in their group games against La Roja and Croatia that they have what it takes to mix it up with the best the tournament has to offer.
"We have quality," he declared. "We know that Germany are a good team, with good players. But we have been playing very well since the first game [against Spain]. We drew but we played very well. We had some chances.
"I think we have to improve to make the final. But we have played well so far. I have high hopes for us. I think we will play a good game."
Italy's clash with old rivals Germany will get under way in the Polish capital at 20:45CET.
Italy have been rocked by the news that Giorgio Chiellini has suffered a strained hamstring and is therefore unlikely to play any further part in their Euro 2012 campaign.
The versatile Juventus defender limped off during the Azzurri's 2-0 victory over Republic of Ireland in Poznan on Monday evening and subsequent scans have now revealed the full extent of the damage.
"Giorgio Chiellini has suffered a strained left hamstring," Italy team doctor Enrico Castellacci confirmed on Tuesday evening.
It is not yet known exactly how long the centre-half will be out of action for and he is set to remain with the squad in Poland. However, it is believed that his tournament is over.
Chiellini's injury is a massive blow for the Azzurri as not only is he one of their most reliable performers, his versatility means that he is capable of playing at left-back as well as centre-half.
It will also come as a huge disappointment to the player, who had worked incredibly hard to make himself available for his country's Euro 2012 campaign after suffering a thigh injury at the tail end of the Serie A season.
Italy, having progressed to the knockout stages as Group C's runners-up, are scheduled to face the winners of Group D on Sunday evening in Kiev.
Giorgio Chiellini lefts the match against Republic Ireland while he felt some pain in his left knee muscle.
Professor Enrico Catellacci, doctor of Italy national team said He will be out for quarter finals match 100% but his condition will be test tomorrow to examine how much his left hamstring is damaged.
Let's hope we don't lose Chiellini for rest of matches as we will need him so much in heart of defence.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has called on his team-mates to focus solely on their must-win Euro 2012 clash with the Republic of Ireland and ignore the speculation that Spain and Croatia could conspire to play out a mutually-beneficial draw in the other game in Group C.
The Azzurri will bow out of the tournament should their qualification rivals draw by a score of 2-2 or higher in Gdansk but the versatile Juventus centre-back believes Cesare Prandelli's men must only worry about their own game.
"We should focus only on Ireland," Chiellini told reporters at a press conference on Monday evening.
"Maybe you see it differently from the outside, but our only objective is to win and not think about good luck, bad luck or anything else.
"We played two good games against excellent teams and must simply improve on a few errors we made at the front and the back. If we win, then a new tournament can begin for us."
Speculation is rife that Italy boss Prandelli will switch from the 3-5-2 formation deployed against Spain and Croatia to a 4-3-1-2 for the meeting with the Irish but Chiellini has insisted that that the potential formation change will not make much difference to him.
"It’s all the same for me," the 27-year-old explained. "In previous years I almost always played in a four-man defence.
"I have had a long career and we’ve all played in various systems, so we have shown our versatility. The important thing is to remain balanced.
"I’ve already played with most of my team-mates and we’ve been training for a month to ensure we’re all on the same page. When that is the case, it gives you an advantage in any tactical approach."
Italy's encounter with Giovanni Trapattoni's side will get under way at 20:45CET.
Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has taken the blame for Croatia’s equaliser in the 1-1 draw on Thursday in Poznan.
Mario Mandzukic was allowed to bring the ball down in the six-yard-box, after Ivan Strinic’s looping cross floated over the Italian's head.
Mandzukic then smashed the ball home at the back post and the 27-year-old admits he should have done better.
"I made the mistake for Croatia's goal. I gave too much space to Mandzukic. He did well to control the ball and score, but I had to be closer to him," Chiellini told reporters after the game.
It was the same story against Spain in their opening Group C game as Italy took the lead through Antonio Di Natale but were pegged back just four minutes later when Cesc Fabregas was allowed to run through and score.
The Juventus defender knows the importance of keeping a clean sheet and how tough it can be defending on an international level.
"Even against Spain we were winning and at this level it is like this. You give away a chance and they will score. In the second half we were too close to our own goal."
The two draws means Italy will have to beat the Republic of Ireland in their final game to have a chance of qualifying for the knockout rounds.
The Juventus player has recovered from injury: "I'm fine, I'm not afraid." And on the national team is convinced: "Debut difficult, but also Spain must be careful. And we will not do the barricades. Three-Defense? Will count only help in the field"
Chiellini has a craving for giocarselo, this European Championship. The defender of the National, having been afraid of losing him to injury, he enjoys the atmosphere of a major event that precedes the debut blue with Spain. It takes the best from all the experiences you are living in Poland, including the poignant lived in the morning with visits to the camps, which were concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau. Then the Chiello not lean on the smash "4 defense or defense to three?", And brings out the pride when it comes to football player, or better to play: "Spain? We will not make the barricades, and in any case will not be easy even for them. "
AUSCHWITZ - "I think it was all emotion rather than touching. It 'hard to find words. We are a fortunate generation that these horrors have only read about or seen in movies. Listening to the three survivors is something that will stay in all of us. The image that remains in the eye the most is when they showed us the numbers tattooed on his arm and when we told of how a German doctor could decide in their lives when they arrive (by selecting those who were destined to hard labor and those who do the gas chamber, Ed.) He has left a unique feeling in our hearts. "
RACISM IN STAGES - "If I get angry after this visit even more? We are examples for young people, I hope this visit will serve to combat any form of disrespect or discrimination."
RECOVERY - "I'm fine, thank goodness. The injury was not as bad as feared, I had time to return to work with the team already last week. And this week I will need to finalize the details. But There is no fear, just want to begin the adventure. here has changed the atmosphere, it begins to breathe the competition, the enthusiasm that was here yesterday at the stadium can only make us well. "
THREE DEFENCE - "If the coach decides to do something, it is because we believe. De Rossi behind? It 's a great player. This year has also played in this position, which also is not his. Against Juve defender from Central was the best in the field. He has everything to do well in that role. The onset is always difficult, but against Spain even more. "
CHANGE AFTER TWO YEARS - Italy coach behind with Prandelli has always played 4. Now the meditator allenaotore tactical change, just the defense 3. "To say whether wrong or right before a match is always difficult. I do not think that Prandelli has already chosen to 200%. On our side there is belief in what we do. What will count in the field, beyond the numbers, will help: the desire and enthusiasm. "
LAST WEEK - "There were so many attacks, more or less justified, who sought to destabilize our environment. We are used to pressure, we found a way to isolate and work. If Italy is seen in the last 2 years gone? There was a decline in results since we achieved the target qualification for Euro 2012, but from here to say that Italy is gone ... ".
EARTHQUAKE, THE APPEAL - "I want to remember the victims of the earthquake in Emilia. not forget them. Send an sms to 45500."
SPAIN - "The European is shorter than the World Cup, but more difficult in some respects, the average level is very high. To stop players like Iniesta, Xavi and Silva does not suffice ppuò one player. The identity of the Spanish game disregards the interpreters. We are aware of meeting the team that made history in the last 4 years, gaining their belief against us, in Austria. We can not put us on the edge of our penalty area and then hope for a break. They will focus and respect, but also actions that characterize our rigged game. Even for them it will be difficult facing Italy. "
Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has promised that he will be match fit in time for Italy's Euro 2012 opener against Spain on June 10.
The centre-back picked up a thigh injury in Juve's Serie A win over Atalanta earlier this month, and there were doubts about whether Chiellini would make a full recovery ahead of this summer's tournament.
However, the 27-year-old has insisted that he will be cleared to play in the Azzurri's Group C opener against the defending European champions.
"Is there a risk that I will miss out on the Euros? Let's not joke around. I will be ready in time," Chiellini stated to Corriere dello Sport.
"If I don't feature in the pre-tournament friendlies, that's just a precautionary measure. I want to be ready to take on Spain, and I'll make sure that I will be ready."
Italy will also have to contend with Croatia and Republic of Ireland in Group C of Euro 2012.