Germany vs. Argentina – World Cup match preview – 1 PM EST Sunday July 13, 2014 Estdio Maracan, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Match Odds: Germany 2.30 / Argentina 3.80 / Draw 3.40
Moneyline: Germany +130 / Argentina +225 / Draw +220
Over/Under: 2.5 goals.
Germany comes into the World Cup final with a head of steam after their 7-1 thrashing of host Brazil in the semifinals. They were in top form all over the pitch and it is no wonder they are the betting favorite even though they are playing Argentina in South America.
Argentina made it to the finals after beating the Netherlands on penalty kicks and while they advanced they looked far from top form facing the Dutch.
While Argentina is in the final their attack has been less than dynamic with 1 goal in their last 3 matches including a scoreless draw against the Dutch. Still, Lionel Messi is the dangerous striker that had a decent game against the Netherlands, but was swarmed by the Dutch defense. Expect the same thing from a German defense that is in top form and almost kept Brazil scoreless in the semifinals.
Gonzalo Higuan has to help out Messi and he will get his space since the German defense will be keying on the Barcelona superstar.
Not only has the German backline been playing great, but also so has GK Manuel Neuer, who should win the Golden Glove award for the tournament’s best goalie. He has been great inside the box and exceptional out of it stopping the attack when the opponents send in long balls. This is what Argentina is solid at and they need to control the ball when they are given attacking chances down the pitch.
Argentina did not look great against a good Dutch midfield and now they face a German midfield that may be the best in the tournament. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedir have been stellar in the middle of the pitch and Argentina needs to play a better match in that area than they did against the Netherlands.
Argentina has a more attacking midfield, but they have to control the ball and really thwart the Germans, who get most of their scoring chances starting from the middle of the field.
Miroslav Klose became the World Cup’s all time leading scorer in the win over Brazil and in that match Germany could do no wrong up front in scoring 7 goals.
Per Mertesacker and Jrme Boateng are big German defenders that may have issues with the speed of Messi and company up front. They have to play well on their feet and be physical not giving the Argentina attackers space around the box.
Sergio Romero had had a great World Cup in goal for Argentina and was the hero of the last match stopping 2 of the Dutch penalty shots. The Germans have the strength and size, so the Argentina defense. Set piece defense will be key for Argentina since Germany is solid at balls in the air.
The possession battle clearly favors the Germans and if they dominate that they should come out with the win.
Both squads are solid on the counter-attack, but Argentina did not get many counters in the Dutch match. They have to pounce on those and conversely have to defend them when Germany has them.
Argentina Recent Form
6/21/14 Argentina 1 Iran 0 (World Cup)
6/25/2014 Nigeria 2 Argentina 3 (World Cup)
7/1/2014 Argentina 1 Switzerland 0 (World Cup)
7/5/2014 Argentina 1 Belgium 0 (World Cup)
7/9/2014 Netherlands 0 – 0 Argentina (World Cup)
Germany Recent Form
6/21/2014 Germany 2 Ghana 2 (World Cup)
6/26/2014 United States 0 Germany 1 (World Cup)
6/30/2014 Germany 2 Algeria 1 (World Cup)
7/4/2014 France 0 Germany 1 (World Cup)
7/8/204 Brazil 1 Germany 7 (World Cup)
Jason’s Pick to Win: Messi has not scored a goal in the last 2 matches, the Argentina offense has not looked great as of late, and the German defense has been playing stellar and they pasted host Brazil 7-1 in the semis. All of that is well and good, but I am going to go against the odds and take Argentina to win. The match will be a tight defensive one, but in regular time Messi will come up with some magic and score and Argentina will win the World Cup beating Germany 1-0.