After nearly a month, we are down to two teams in Brazil. This Sunday, The Germans and The Argentines will play for the ultimate national pride, a chance to lift the World Cup high above their heads. For the Germans this will be their 8th trip to the final, looking to win the world cup for the 4th time. For Argentina, they will be trying for a 3rd time World Cup crown.
The Germans made it here with one of the most stunning games in World Cup history. No team has scored more goals in a semi-final, or won by as many. Brazil had never lost to an opponent by six goals. They embarrassed the hosts in front of their vast crowd. With such a dominating performance The Germans are the resounding favorites in this game. History, however, would suggest something different. In the past nine meetings between a European and South American nation in the final, the South American side walked away victorious seven times. Germany also have a losing record in finals appearances, making it to seven but only to came away with three trophies.
Keys to the Game for Germany:
The Germans will look to dominate in the midfield. Javier Mascherano has had a wonderful tournament in the middle of midfield for the Argentinians, but he is going to be on his own defending some of the most dangerous players in the world. In his vicinity, he will be defending Khedria, Kroos, and Thomas Mueller. The strength of Khedria, the brilliant positioning of Toni Kroos, and the creativity of Thomas Mueller may be too much for one man to handle. Stopping Messi will be another task for this side. Look for Germany to pressure Messi high up the pitch and to force the ball away from him.
Argentina have had a quiet, but successful World Cup thus far. They performed well against their group stage opponents and were often helped by a moment of brilliance from Messi.
Lionel Messi is playing a role that not many others have. He has successfully brought his team to the final. Argentina haven’t made many mistakes, and Messi has provided them with enough of a spark to just outplay their opponents. Simply put, if Argentina lift the trophy, Messi’s performance will go down as one of the World Cup’s best. Argentines have had to deal with heartbreak handed to them by this German side for the past two World Cups. In 2006 & 2010, Germany beat Argentina in the quarterfinals. Miroslav Klose, who scored three goals in those two games, will be starting in his final game for the Germans on Sunday.
Keys to the Game for Argentina:
Germany no doubt looked invincible against an uninspired Brazilian side in the semi-finals, but Argentina are surely planning a strategy to combat The Germans. Look for Argentina to attack down the right flank, at left-back Benedikt Howedes. He is a right-footed center back playing out of position. Argentina always have been particularly good at picking at players on the pitch. If Howedes can’t handle the pressure coming his way, Argentina may find success down the right flank.
It’s gonna be one heck of a game!