Argentina vs. Germany at Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town South Africa 10:30 AM EST Saturday July 3, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Argentina 2.30 / Germany 3.10 / Draw 3.30
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Argentina +135 / Germany +185 / Draw +225
In the first round of 16 match on Saturday, and probably the best quarterfinals match up, Argentina faces Germany. Argentina has been very solid in South Africa so far, as they have scored 10 goals and only given up 2. Their attacking style has frustrated all the teams they have played and if their offense is clicking they will be very hard to beat.
Germany is coming off a HUGE 4-1 pasting of England in the round of 16 and with the team game they play Argentina will have their hands full. The Germans are a fast and strong squad and they may play physical against Argentina and not allow the South American sqaud to play their flowing game.
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Argentina is a great and finding open space and creating scoring chances and if Germany can thwart that they have a great chance to win this match.
These 2 teams met in the playoffs of the World Cup in 2006 and Germany won in a penalty shootout. However, these 2 teams played in a friendly before the World Cup and Gonzalo Higuain, who is tied for the lead for goals in South Africa, scored the match winner to beat Germany.
Germany really took advantage of their scoring chances in their quarterfinals win over England, as they only had 7 shots on target and scored 4 goals. In the match Germany was solid on the counter-attack and they will need to do that against Argentina, who will push forward and pressure the German defense.
Argentina has only given up 2 goals so far in the World Cup, bit their defense is still their Achilles Heel. This showed in the Mexico match, as Mexico had several chances to score with 6 shots on target, but only scored once. Argentina has a dynamic offense and they may have to score a few goals since their defense is their main weakness.
Argentina Recent Form:
6/27/2010 Argentina 3 Mexico 1 (World Cup)
6/22/2010 Argentina 2 Greece 0 (World Cup)
617/2010 Argentina 4 South Korea 1 (World Cup)
6/12/2010 Argentina 1 Nigeria 0 (World Cup)
Germany Recent Form:
6/27/2010 Germany 4 England 1 (World Cup)
6/23/2010 Germany 1 Ghana 0 (World Cup)
6/18/2010 Germany 0 Serbia 1 (World Cup)
6/13/2010 Germany 4 Australia 0 (World Cup)
Germany striker Cacau is having stomach problems and will likely miss this match because of it.
Germany G Manuel Neuer has been up and down in the World Cup and he will be sure to be tested in this match and he will not be able to keep a clean sheet.
The Argentina striker trio of Carlos Tvez, Gonzalo Higuan, and Lionel Messi, who has yet to score in the World Cup, will be attacking from the opening whistle and this trio will come up with at least 2 goals and I think Messi will notch his first.
Argentina MF Javier Mascherano has played very well and he and the midfielders will have to do so in this match setting up the strikers and getting back on defense to thwart the counter-attack.
German defenders Per Mertesacker and Arne Friedrich must play well in this match, but Argentina has so many players that create goal-scoring chances that they may struggle in this match.
One huge key playing in this match is MF Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany, as he will have to help control the ball in the midfield, which will limit the scoring chances Argentina gets.
German striker Miroslav Klose has been great in the World Cup and is now just 3 goals behind Ronaldo’s record of maximum goals in the World Cup finals. He will have to pressure the Argentina defense and score, especially if Argentina scores first. He will find a way to get open in this match deep and will score one goal.
Jason’s Pick to Win: Argentina does not have a great defense and Germany is solid on the counter attack. OK, so that may get one goal for the Germans, but they have not faced a great offense yet in the World Cup and they will not be able to stop Argentina up front. Look for Argentina to win this match by a score of 2-1 or 3-1 and advance to the semifinals.