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German fans bullish ahead of Italy match

BORDEAUX, France (Reuters) - German fans packed the bars of Bordeaux’s Quinconces downtown area on Saturday looking forward to what they were confident would be an emphatic Germany victory over Italy in their Euro 2016 quarter-final in the evening.

At the Brasserie d’Orleans, the crowd spilled out on to the sidewalk despite drizzling rain, every hand seemingly clutching a glass of beer.

"Germany wins 4-0, because the Italians are all old and the Germans are young and fast," said Daniel Ritermann, a 26-year-old soldier.

His friend Christian Hamann, a 32-year-old manager, agreed. “The Italians can’t score," he said.

The match pits Europe's top two traditional powers against each other but while Germany are current world champions, the Italy side is not among the strongest they have fielded in past years. They have surpassed expectations by making it this far in the tournament.

However, history records that Germany have always lost to Italy in the knock-out stages of a major tournament, including a World Cup and the semi-final of the last European Championship.

"Yes in the past, we lost always. But not today, we are going to win," said Marcos Kerber, 31, a telecommunications worker.

Few Italian fans were to be seen in this part of Bordeaux, though on a tram several were making the journey alongside German supporters. There was no hint of aggression, despite the rivalry.

(Reporting by Angus MacSwan, editing by Ed Osmond)

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