Euro 2012 Betting: Will fatigue be end of Italy?
...a lack of cutting edge remains a worry, limiting Italy to four goals in four games - whereas Portugal have scored six, Spain eight and Germany nine.
Michael Lintorn has consulted the history books and sadly, at least for Italy, they suggest a more strenuous quarter-final and shorter recovery time could cost them against Germany in their Euro 2012 semi-final.
Italy were not only superior to England but so much more adventurous that it might just have been enough to hush talk of catenaccio, cynicism and corruption until the end of the tournament at least.
However, a lack of cutting edge remains a worry, limiting them to four goals in four games - whereas Portugal have scored six, Spain eight and Germany nine - and more crucially forcing them to fight for two hours against a side that, on the balance of play, they should have seen off in 90 minutes.
The pundits are convinced that it will prove a huge bonus for Germany ahead of Thursday's semi-final that they will not just arrive in Warsaw fresh from two days longer off, but also profiting from a far less gruelling quarter-final test, in which they rested Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller.
There appears to be evidence to support the theory.
At Euro 2008, the gaps weren't quite as dramatic, with only one day separating the quarter-finals of the semi-final opponents, and both encounters featured strong favourites, yet there was a clear point of comparison.
Germany met Turkey having benefitted from an extra day to recover and prepare and with Fatih Terim's team having endured extra time and penalties against Croatia. It seemingly had an impact as Germany produced a big finish, triumphing 3-2 courtesy of Philipp Lahm's last-minute winner.
The last European Championship or World Cup in which one nation was afforded 48 hours more R&R - in what feels like a major structural flaw - was Euro 2004.
Both semi-finals at that competition were won by the more rejuvenated side, hosts Portugal getting the better of the Netherlands and Greece having more to offer than Czech Republic once their clash entered extra time.
That of course isn't the sole reason why Germany are rated (1.44) to progress, despite losing in extra time to Italy at this point in 2006. They have won their four matches at Euro 2012, whereas the Azzurri's only 90-minute victory came against Republic of Ireland. Cesare Prandelli's men are (3.20) to ward off tiredness and qualify.