The 2006 World Cup has been an education in football tactics unlike any other. Argentina, despite their 6-0 thrashing of S & M were highlighted as a one-trick team against Holland and the same happened against Mexico last night as well. Germany meet the South Americans in 5 days time at Berlin and Klinsmann will be hapy at what he now sees as an ‘easier’ route to the final.
The winner of the Germany-Argentina quarter-final will play one of Switzerland, Ukraine, Italy and Australia, and it seems quite likely now that both Germany and Argentina would fancy their chances against all of these teams. Italy, the strongest of these four, have not been in the best of form and are undoubtedly an easier proposition than Brazil or Spain. The second round matches will tell us more, but for now it looks quite likely that one of Germany and Argentina will be in the final on July 9.
And that’s why Klinsmann has been so bullish after their comfortable win against Sweden. They know that Argentina are beatable, and that despite their own suspect defense they also know that they can beat other big teams on their day.
But are the Germans really favorites against Argentina?
Both sides prefer playing down the center, with Germany reliant on Ballack and Argentina on Riquelme. They have similar styles of play although Germany prefer a faster, more physical game while the Argentines prefer to build up with slow, slick passing. It will be interesting to see who wins out the battle of the midfield, but Germany are more likely to run down the flanks while Argentina can hope to keep Klose and Podolski out without much trouble.
It should be a fascinating game.
[tags]Germany, Argentina, 2006 World Cup[/tags]