Germany head to San Siro on Friday hoping to bring an end to their dismal recent record against Italy.
The Germans - who will be managed by Joachim Low for the 100th time - last tasted victory in this fixture back in 1995 and have since gone on to draw two and lose four of the subsequent six fixtures, only one of which was played in Italy.
Furthermore, Germany have never beaten Italy at a major tournament, and continued that trend at Euro 2012, when the Azzurri recorded a 2-1 semi-final victory.
Italy were also responsible for Germany's last-four exit from the 2006 FIFA World Cup - winning 2-0 after extra time before going on to lift the trophy.
The statistics are made all the more remarkable by the fact that Germany currently sit second in the world rankings - six places above their opponents this week.
But centurion Low - who has led Germany to the final of Euro 2008 as well as the last four of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 - hopes facing his country's bogey team will prove to be the perfect preparation for the 2014 World Cup, a tournament both teams reached by winning their qualifying groups.
"Italy are tactically world class, and the national team still plays at a high level," he said. "The Italians are characterised by their cleverness and efficiency.
"To play against this team was our desire, because we can only evolve if we face strong opponents."
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, meanwhile, believes his side's friendlies against Germany and Nigeria next week can help narrow down his squad for next year's tournament.
"There are places available," he said. "Many players are motivated, they want to prove that they can be a part of such a group. I have in my mind 35 players so nothing is definite.
"I have a precise idea of what type of football I want the team to play.
"Seeing as I am not able to work with the team a lot on the pitch, I've had to use official games to understand this. During the games, there will be various interpretations but our reference module will be that of four midfielders."
|Coach: C. Prandelli|
for D. Osvaldo 53'
for A. Barzagli 71'
for A. Pirlo 82'
|Chaplow suspended two games for verbal abuse, denies homophobia|
|Eduardo farewells Dinamo Zagreb amid Chelsea speculation|
|Zidane shoud give James more respect - Asprilla|
|Solo suspended from USA women´s team for six months|
|Guardiola understands fans unhappiness over Hart situation|
|Burnley and Middlesbrough sent packing from League Cup|
|Coleman baffled by Ramsey´s treatment at Arsenal|
|Six of the best for Gladbach as Rostov rout Ajax|
|Leicester face Chelsea, Northampton host United in League Cup third round|
|Cillessen set to fly out to Barca to complete move|
|Guardiola hails ´legend´ Hart as Bravo wait in the wings|
|Emotional Hart edges towards City exit|
|Manchester City 1 Steaua Bucharest 0 (6-0 agg): City ease through amid Hart-felt goodbyes|
|Ronaldo working hard for Madrid return|
|Pique warns of European Super League dangers|
|AFC Champions League: Damjanovic inspires Seoul, Wanderley puts Al Nasr in charge|
|Rauball re-elected as German league president|
|Cillessen returns for Ajax despite Barcelona talk|
|Surgery for Pereira after De Rossi horror challenge|
|Hart set for City farewell against Steaua|
|CAF Champions League Review: Wydad draw at ZESCO to earn top spot|
|Retiring Keane in Republic of Ireland squad for final time|
|Sion in talks to sign Liverpool outcast Balotelli, claims club president|
|Athletic´s Laporte not distracted by Barcelona visit|
|Keane announces international retirement|
|Clarke named FA chairman|
|Neuer: Schweinsteiger remains one of world´s best|
|Bielsa would call me before coming to Marseille - Passi|
|Watford bring in Janmaat from Newcastle|
|FIFA opens adjudicatory proceedings against disgraced African football officials|
|European Super League could cause ´war´|
|Sampdoria pounce for Praet|
|Zaza agent confirms Napoli talks but rules out loan move|
|No Grigg in Northern Ireland´s World Cup qualifying squad|
|Cahill reflects on ´amazing´ Melbourne City debut|
|Europa League must take priority, Recoba tells Inter|
|Saint-Etienne swoop for Saivet and Veretout|
|Ronaldo: Pepe was the best player at the Euros, not Griezmann|
|Schweinsteiger: Manchester United my last club in Europe|
|Dante sees Nice as a positive move|
|Pique: Barcelona by far the best in Spain|
|Pique backs Stones for success under Pep|
|Coleman dismisses Premier League talk|
|Spurs want Calhanoglu, claims agent|
|Bony an ´option´ for Bilic|
|Leverkusen cannot challenge Bayern, says Ballack|
|Pallotta blasts ´disgusting´ referee after Roma defeat|
|Badstuber taking his time after injury nightmare|
|Conte: Terry return between him and Allardyce|
|We beat Bayern to Dembele - Watzke|
|Wanderers bring back Bulut|
|Moyes rules out Kone exit|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Whitecaps, Pachuca win big|
|Bale: I´ll never forget this year|
|Griezmann: I deserve Best Player in Europe Award|
|No surgery for Ayew as West Ham target December return|
|Villarreal did all they could to make it through - Escriba|
|Spalletti rues lack of Roma discipline|
|Conte: Chelsea must learn to kill matches|
|Watford and West Brom crash out of League Cup|
|My longest 90 minutes as a coach - Rodgers|
|AFC Champions League: Goalless draws leave quarter-finals on a knife edge|
|Klopp hopeful over Can injury|
|Champions League play-offs: Nine-man Roma crash out as Monaco edge Villarreal|
|Henderson hails ´outstanding´ Mane after Burton thrashing|
|Chelsea 3 Bristol Rovers 2: Conte´s side survive scare thanks to Batshuayi double|
|Hapoel Be´er Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 agg): Visitors survive Israeli scare|
|Burton Albion 0 Liverpool 5: Sturridge at the double in Reds rout|
|Leverkusen sign Austria star Dragovic|
|Sakho in the clear as WADA opt against appeal|
|Enyimba 3 Mamelodi Sundowns 1: Udoh brace secures CAF Champions League win|
|Pulisic and Ramos on target as Dortmund wrap up Bundesliga preparations|
|Calleri hoping for Tevez advice|
|Defour hoping for Belgium recall|
|Alaba warns against complacency as Bayern begin Bundesliga defence|
|Bravo arrives in Manchester ahead of City move|
|Dyche backs Gray after striker´s apology for homophobic tweets|
|Gray charged by FA over homophobic tweets|
|Pique: Olympic gold proves Neymar is one of world´s best|
|Marin makes Olympiacos move|
|Zidane arrival the catalyst for one of my best seasons - Ronaldo|
|Moyes ´worried´ about Mannone elbow injury|
|Sidibe rejected Arsenal over playing-time fears|
|Guardiola: Toure could feature against Steaua|
|Hernandez out for two weeks after falling down stairs|
|Bravo nearing City move, admits Guardiola|
|Ballack impressed by Dortmund signings but still backing Bayern|
|Lucescu questions De Boer tactics|
|Milan reject Chelsea bid for Romagnoli|
|Dortmund know how to treat Gotze - Ballack|
|Shevchenko: Bacca must improve consistency|
|´If you heed 100 idiots you will go crazy´ - Bauza on Messi return|
|Valdano relieved over Messi U-turn|
|Nordfeldt in line for loan move after signing fresh Swans deal|
|Dante joins Nice from Wolfsburg|
|De Boer expects fierce fight for Barca number-one spot|
|Newell´s confident over Messi return|
|Stoke confirm Jones interest|
|MLS ´attractive´ to Rooney - Timbers owner|
|Burke re-signs with West Ham|
|Sassuolo rejected Balotelli - CEO|
|Valencia coach Ayestaran rules out Mustafi sale|
|Allardyce plans Guardiola talks over Hart|
|Cahill warns rivals over City attack|
|Allardyce open to Terry England return|
|Drogba dismisses Villa rumours|
|Tuchel pleased despite Dortmund wastefulness|