World Cup 2014 Final Preview

Argentina v Germany

A repeat of South Africa 2010?

This year’s World Cup is almost at an end. Following Germany’s staggering 7-1 win over the host’s Brazil, and Argentina’s less exciting 0-0 penalty win against Holland, we can now look forward to a European v South American final.

The World Cup has been surprisingly open, especially in the group stages, and has been very welcome for the neutrals like me who saw England go out after two games… Very few games have followed the script (Spain), with underdogs like Colombia and Costa Rica causing shocks around the world by reaching the Quarter Finals, overpowering heavyweights to achieve this feat. Whether the final will continue this trend is anyone’s guess but Argentina’s attacking style of play, the quality of Germany’s attack, should make the final a spectacle not to be missed.

Key Players:

Lionel Messi: Argentina’s star is everyone’s danger-man for the South Americans. After being labelled as the best in the world for what feels like my entire life, he now has a chance to further cement this status and carry his team to a World Cup trophy. There are many other threats however, so it would be dangerous for Germany to focus solely on him potentially creating more space and opportunities for him to strike.

Toni Kroos: His consistently impressive performances for both club and country have made him an essential part of the team. He was instrumental in Germany’s thrashing of Brazil and has been linked with a summer move away from Bayern with Real Madrid the likely destination. Having a creative midfielder like Kroos to create chances, as well as being able to finish moves off, makes him a key player for the final.

Prediction:

I think that almost every game has been full of surprises, making predictions and pundits look silly. I’m prepared to run the risk however and go for a 2-1 Argentina win. The last meeting between the two was a 4-0 win for the German’s in South Africa 2010 but I can’t see a repeat of that. Argentina should go into the game with a bit more caution than Brazil did, being able to cause problems while frustrating them, boasting a meaner defence than their South American neighbours. Germany may be the slight favourites for the game but Brazil aside, they struggled to break down other teams in their road to the final. There was a 2-1 extra time win over Algeria in the Second Round after the game ended 0-0, and a closely fought Quarter Final battle between the French which ended 1-0 in their favour. Germany will of course be high on confidence coming into the game but I can see Argentina giving them an early reality check.

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