Germany meet Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final on Sunday and for many people, there’s only one likely winner: Germany.
Given that Germany beat Argentina in 2006 and 2010, plus Brazil’s total annihilation on Tuesday and a goal-less draw produced by Argentina in the other semifinal, there’s a lot going in Germany’s favour. But as we saw with Brazil-Germany, or Netherlands-Spain, or even Argentina-Iran, the unexpected often happens on a football pitch and that could very well be the case on Sunday.
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Germany v Argentina – match predictions
Germany face the same scenario that they did against Italy in 2006 – a defensively strong opponent capable of a devastating counter-attack. Argentina are defensively disciplined, play narrow and will be able to deny Germany’s midfield the space they used so spectacularly against Brazil in the semifinal.
With Schweinsteiger marking Messi, Argentina’s midfield only have to starve Kroos of possession and pin back Khedira to turn this game into a battle of attrition. Fitness issues apart, there’s a good chance this Argentina team will be able to last the distance and maintain the intensity needed to hold off and counter attack.
With that in mind, expect a low scoring game with a potential 0-0 half-time score.
However, as the game goes on, it’s anybody guess. Germany could rack up 2-3 in quick succession, or get beaten on the counter and lose 1-0. At this level, I don’t think Sabella or Low will make the mistake Scolari made, and as a result it’ll come down to concentration, intensity and execution. There are fine margins but I think both teams will score, and it could go into extra-time, but even that should increase Germany’s chances of a win.
We backed Germany for World Cup winners before the knockout stages started, and we’re sticking to our predictions.
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Golden Ball predictions
Rodriguez is still in the lead and will have played 2 fewer games than anyone else who equals his 6 goals. The nearest are Muller (5 in 6) and Messi (4 in 6), and Rodriguez is still the most likely GB winner.
However, if you’re backing Germany to thump Argentina, then you can back Muller to get a double and cap the perfect tournament for Germany (he’ll win the best player award too if he does this).
Smart money is still on JR though, however you should definitely back Muller to score.