2014 FIFA World Cup Championship Match: Germany vs Argentina

2014 FIFA World Cup Championship
Germany vs Argentina

Estadio Jornalista Mário Filho (Maracanã) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC, Univision
Money Line: Argentina +255 / Germany +120 / Draw +215
Point Line: Germany -0.5 -120  / Argentina +0.5 -140
Total: over 2 -114 / under 2 -106
Odds to win World Cup: Germany -160 / Argentina +135
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker

Argentina and Germany meet in the World cup final for the third time ever Sunday in Rio.
Argentina and Germany meet in the World cup final for the third time ever Sunday in Rio.

After the other two consensus favorites, Spain and Brazil flamed out of the World Cup in embarrassing fashions the 2014 World Cup comes down to Germany and Argentina. The two powerhouses and rivals meet in the final for the third time Sunday in the famed Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Defending champion Spain didn’t even make it out of their group, while host nation Brazil made the semifinals but were outscored by a combined 10-1 by Germany in the semifinals and the Netherlands in the third place match Saturday in Brasilia.

Argentina leads the series 9-6-5 against Germany. This is the seventh meeting in the World Cup between Germany and Argentina. Germany holds a 3-1-2 advantage in the World Cup against Argentina. They each beat each other in the final in 1986 and 1990. Argentina beat West Germany  in 1986 in Mexico, and the West Germans returned the favor four years later in Italy. Germany eliminated Argentina in the quarterfinals in 2006 in penalties and 2010 in a 4-0 rout. Argentina won the last meeting in a friendly 3-1 in August of 2012 in Frankfurt.

Germany is making their 18th trip to the World Cup, and they have won it three times the last in 1990. They have also been the runner-up four times. Germany was placed in the Group G with Portugal, Ghana and the United States, widely considered the so called group of death. Germany opened with a 4-0 smashing of Portugal and then played Ghana to a 2-2 draw. Germany would clinch first place in the group with a 1-0 win against the United States.

Germany advanced to quarterfinals for the ninth straight time with a 2-1 win in extra time over Algeria in the round of 16. Germany beat France in the quarterfinals. Germany would hold on for the 1-0 win to advance to the semis for the fourth straight time, something no other team had done in history.

In the semifinals, Germany played Brazil last Tuesday in Belo Horizonte.. The hosts hadn’t lost a competitive match at home since 1975, but Brazil was playing without leading scorer Neymar (broken vertebrae) and captain Thiago Silva (suspension). Germany took advantage and took a 1-0 lead at 11 minutes on the fifth goal of the World Cup from Thomas Muller. In a stunning six minute stretch Germany would completely humiliate and bury Brazil with an incredible 4 goal barrage from 23 to 29 minutes. Brazil barely gave an effort on defense and just rolled over and quit after Miroslav Klos scored his record breaking 16th career World Cup goal. Toni Kroos added two goals to make it 4-0. Sami Khedira added another at 29 minutes to make it 5-0 at halftime. Andre Schurrle added goals at 69 and 79 minutes to complete the humiliation and make it 7-0. Oscar scored a meaningless goal late to make the final 7-1 but it was by far the worst loss in Brazil’s illustrious football history. Germany advanced to the final for the 8th time ever and at least one in every decade since the 1950’s.

For what it’s worth, Brazil had 18 shots and 13 on target. Germany had 14 and 12. Germany had 14 fouls to 11 for Brazil. Brazil had possession for 51% of the match. Brazil had 7 corners to 5 for Germany. Germany made 12 saves and Brazil made 5. Brazil had the only 3 offsides calls of the match.

Argentina is making their 16th appearance in the World Cup and 11th straight. Argentina has won two World Cups but none since since 1986. They lost in the final in 1990, and advanced to the semifinals this year for the first time since then. Argentina was crushed by Germany 4-0 in the quarterfinals in 2010.

Argentina was placed into Group F of the 2014 World Cup along with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria. It isn’t clear where Argentina would be without world class striker Lionel Messi. He scored a goal to make the score 2-0 in the second half against Bosnia, and Argentina would hold on for the 2-1 win. He scored a goal in stoppage time against Iran to prevent an embarrassing scoreless draw. He also scored 2 first half goals against Nigeria in a match Argentina would win 3-2 to clinch first place in the group. Messi came into the World Cup with only one other goal in two previous appearances.

Argentina played Switzerland in the round of 16. The game was scoreless through regulation and most of extra time. It looked like the match was heading towards penalties until Angel Di Maria scored at 118 minutes to give Argentina a 1-0 win. Argentina beat Belgium in the quarterfinals Saturday 1-0.

In the semifinals Wednesday in Sao Paulo, Argentina and the Netherlands  played to a scoreless draw through regulation and 30 minutes of extra time. In penalties, Argentina keeper Sergio Romero made saves on two of the first three Dutch shots, and his teammates made all four of their shots. That was the difference as Argentina advanced 4-2 to make their fifth ever trip to the final.

Neither side had many scoring chances. Argentina had 8 shots with 5 on target. The Nehterlands had 7 and 3. The Dutch had 15 fouls to 10 for Argentina. The Netherlands had possession for 53% of the time. Each team had 4 corners and 4 offsides. The Netherlands had 4 saves to 2 for Argentina.

Germany is coached by Joachim Low. Germany will use a 4-3-3 formation. Forward Thomas Muller has 5 goals and one assist in the World Cup. Only Colombia’s James Rodriguez has more goals with 6. Muller won the Golden Boot Award at the 2010 World Cup given to the top goal scorer. Forward Mario Gotze and midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm are also quality scorers. Miroslav Klose will start. Defender Shkodran Mustafi is out with   Keeper Manuel Neuer allowed 2 goals against Ghana and very late goals against Algeria and Brazil, but kept clean sheets against Portugal, the US and France.

Germany is outscoring teams 17-4 in the World Cup. They have 14 open play and 3 set piece goals. Germany has 87 shots including 63 on target. They have completed 32 of 121 crosses and have been called offsides 14 times. Germany has 21 blocks and 24 saves. The Germans have won 26 of 92 tackles. Germany has completed 3,421 passes.

Argentina is coached by Alejandro Sabella. Argentina will use a 4-2-3-1 formation. Lionel Messi has scored 4 of the 8 goals for Argentina. Marcos Rojo, Angel Di Maria and Higuain are the  only other Argentine players to score as Bosnia scored an own goal. Left-back Rojo returns to the line-up after missing the Belgium game with yellow cards. Di Maria is questionable. Talented striker Sergio Aguero returned to the line-up against the Netherlands after missing the last two matches with a muscle strain. Ezequiel Lavezzi or Rodrico Palacio could start in place of Aguero. Keeper Sergio Romero has allowed 3 goals, and sometimes has to clean up the messes of an inconsistent backline.

Argentina is outscoring teams 8-3 in the World Cup. Argentina has 7 open play and 1 set piece goal. Argentina has 95 shots with 61 on target. Argentina has completed 29 of 160 crosses and has only been called offsides six times. Argentina has 18 blocks and 15 saves. They have won 31 of 104 tackles. Argentina has completed 2,928 passes.

Germany has gotten here with an explosive offense and good enough defense, except for the Ghana match. Argentina has gotten here with great defense and goalkeeping. They are billing this match as Messi versus the Machine. I think Germany shuts him down and wins the World Cup by a score of 2-1.

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