Italy may be without key midfielder Daniele De Rossi when they take on Germany in their Euro 2016 quarter-final clash on Saturday night.
The experienced Roma player has been crucial for Antonio Conte's side as they upset pre-tournament predictions to top Group E and then swept aside Spain on Monday to set up a last-eight meeting in Bordeaux.
However, as De Rossi continues to suffer from a "serious right thigh injury" picked up in the 2-0 win over the defending champions at the Stade de France, team doctor Enrico Castellacci admitted the 32-year-old is unlikely to return in time.
"It's a very serious situation," said Castellacci. "We're trying everything to get him back in time. But we can't give any prognosis."
The loss of De Rossi would be a significant blow for Italy as they look to knock Germany out for the second Euros in succession, having beaten them 2-1 in the Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw.
In fact, that contest four years ago was Italy's eighth successive match without defeat against their rivals at major tournaments, a record that has made the Azzurri favourites going into the game at the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux.
Germany duo Toni Kroos and Jerome Boateng have refuted claims, though, that Italy are the world champions' bogey team ahead of the game on Saturday.
"Why should I have an 'Italian trauma'? You'll have to explain that to me first," said Kroos. "I haven't played that often against Italy, so previous matches were nothing to do with me.
"They are hard to play against, stand deep and are very relaxed on the ball, they've played like that for years. Italy will be the strongest team we have faced until now. I'm looking forward to it and I'm very optimistic."
Kroos' team-mate Boateng, who scored the opener in their 3-0 last-16 victory over Slovakia, was similar in his assessment, simply stating: "No, there are definitely worse things than playing against Italy.
"It is important, however, that we play our own game. But of course the Italians are tactically well-trained. It will be important to find solutions and to put the Italians in some trouble."
Meanwhile, Lazio winger Antonio Candreva is also struggling to be fit after suffering a hamstring injury in the 1-0 group phase win over Sweden.
And Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta is suspended after picking up a second yellow card against the holders.
Germany boss Joachim Low, however, has no new injury problems or suspensions to worry about.
Germany have never beaten Italy at a major tournament (D4 L4). Worse still, they have lost all four of their games against Italy in the knockout stages: three times at the World Cup (semi-final in 1970, final in 1982, semi-final in 2006) and once at the European Championship (semi-final in 2012).
Germany and Italy's last encounter was earlier this year on 29 March: Joachim Low's men won 4-1 in Munich.
Germany have reached the semi-finals in their last five major tournaments (WC 2006, Euro 2008, WC 2010, Euro 2012, WC 2014).
Germany have won 14 of their last 17 games at major tournaments, drawing two and losing one (1-2 v Italy in the EURO 2012 semi-finals).
Germany are the only team yet to concede a single goal so far at Euro 2016. The only previous time they kept clean sheets in their first four games at a major tournament was in the 1978 World Cup.
Germany have averaged 69 per cent possession over their first four games, the highest ratio so far at EURO 2016.
Italy have kept 19 clean sheets in 37 Euro games, more than any other team in the history of the tournament and just ahead of Germany (18 clean sheets in 47 games). They've only conceded one goal at Euro 2016.
This is the final. These are the two best teams in the competition by a million miles. You can talk about how good Belgium are, but Italy took them apart in the group stage and I've loved watching them.
Spain are not a bad side but they could have lost 7-2 because Italy absolutely ran them ragged. They have been unbelievable. It's easy to say they're defensively solid and tactically astute, but they play two centre forwards as well. Most defenders these days are only used to playing against one and Sergio Ramos didn't have a clue how to deal with it.
Germany looked very good against Slovakia but they were on the back foot against Poland, who had good chances and should have won. Germany are not unbeatable.
Italy will be slight underdogs because they are facing the world champions, but I'm going to stick my neck out and go for the Italians. They are a very good team and have really impressed me.
Either way, whoever wins this game wins the tournament in my opinion.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (12/1 with Sky Bet)
Germany are Sky Bet's 5/4 favourites for the victory on Saturday evening, with Italy 11/4, while a draw after 90 minutes and extra time is priced at 19/10.
Mario Gomez heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2, with Graziano Pelle considered the main Italian threat at 13/2, while Jamie Redknapp is keeping faith with Thomas Muller to net first in a 2-1 Germany win at 35/1 in his Sky Bet tip.