Greece and Italy battle for the last semi-final place. Listen to the tracks, vote in the poll, click below the cut for analysis, comment and previews.

How to vote: Just pick the track you like best! Please don’t download the tracks unless you intend to vote. This poll will close at lunchtime on Tuesday 17th.

Greece v Italy: Which track do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Italy: Caparezza 60%
  • Greece: Helena Paparizou 40%

Total Voters: 25

Poll closes: 17 Jun 2008 @ 12:46

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GREECE: Helena Paparizou – “Gigolo”

The manager says: “A winner of the less prestigious Eurovision Cup, Helena’s career has flagged slightly since her attempted move to foreign leagues. But with the right support she still oozes pop class and “Gigolo” shows her at her pacy best. Stand or fall, we think we’ll deliver a game the neutral can enjoy.”

Our analyst says: Greece are playing a straightforward pop game here, a side with a great deal of pace and a very high workrate. Good enough for Eurovision certainly – but will it be enough at this level?

ITALY: Caparezza – “Vengo Della Luna”

The manager says: “Our footballing compatriots were humiliated earlier this week by a Dutch team evidently eager to avenge the beating we dished out in the first round of this tournament. When this great nation hurts, it hurts as one, other nations do not, so it doesn’t matter if we give their players a bit of kick in the process. It’s all in the game, mind, a bit of aggression will enable our forward line to show their real flair. It is with this that we bring you the crown prince of Italian hip-hop. The finals have not seen hair like this since Carlos Valderrama’s failed Pop World Cup troupe of 1994. Jump!”

Our analyst says: This Italy side are physical but rarely dirty – their midfield has technique to go with the power. There’s a suspicion their tactics will devolve into knocking it forward to the big lad as the game progresses, but if direct play wins them the game their fans will hardly be complaining.

Coming Next: THE SEMI FINALS: Both semi-finals will be next Thursday – the Greek and Italian Pop Authorities have complained about the possible lack of preparation time but FIPA has overruled their concerns, so a feast of pop awaits as the winner of their game faces France or Russia at the same time as the Group A rematch of Switzerland and Portugal. Can the Swiss continue their run to the final (inspired perhaps by the unfortunate demise of their footballing counterparts?)