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Prediction: Germany vs Argentina

Red-hot Germany go into the World Cup final at Maracana in Rio de Janeiro as strong favourites with the 7-1 hammering of Brazil acting as a huge boost to their title ambitions. Meanwhile, Argentina have already been written off by many even if they have yet to lose a game at the tournament finals, but Los Albicelestes hope that Leo Messi and huge travelling support will give them the extra edge.

This Germany side are already regarded as one of world’s best, but a major title is all that is missing for them to enter the history books. With most key players at their prime at the moment, it is unlikely they will get a better opportunity in the future to win the World Cup trophy, but Joachim Low’s charges seem more than capable of handling the pressure of expectations. Despite not playing to their potential. Germany overcame some difficult obstacles on the road to the final, showing remarkable consistency and confidence in the process, before the 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil made everyone stand up and take notice. Some other sides could have problems with complacency following one such result, but this is Die Mannschaft we are talking about, a team that always seem to have a perfect mental approach. Having made quite a few changes in the group stage, Low seems to have finally found a perfect starting line-up, with the introduction of veteran striker Miroslav Klose proving a very good decision as Germany look much more dangerous up front with a conventional centre forward in the side. Taking all this into account, Die Mannschaft look a good bet to lift the trophy at 1.73 (8/11) at Ladbrokes. Mats Hummels is expected to start after recovering from a knee injury, meaning there should be no changes to the starting line-up.

Argentina national team have endured some tough times of late, having last won a major title in 1993, so no wonder the fans were not that optimistic ahead of the start of the 2014 World Cup. Seeing as how they were placed into one of the easiest groups, Los Albicelestes won the first place in the group without too many problems, but they were somewhat fortunate to eliminate Switzerland and Belgium and reach the semi-finals. Argentina then produced probably the best performance of the tournament as they held Netherlands to a goalless draw and eventually winning the tie after the penalty shoot-out to make it to the first WC final since 1990, when they were defeated by none other than Germany. Los Albicelestes now have a perfect opportunity to get revenge on Die Mannschaft for that loss, but they do not seem capable of causing a shock this time out. With Gonzalo Higuain struggling for form and the likes of Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero far from the desired fitness, the nominal visitors will be heavily relying on Lionel Messi and there is only so much he can do on his own, with Germany midfield likely to pay special attention to the Barcelona superstar. Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo are injury doubts, but Sergio Aguero is fit to play.

Conclusion

Germany seem to be on top of their game at the moment and considering that they have performed incredibly well under pressure, the title appears theirs to lose. Argentina do have a wild card that is Lionel Messi, but with his fellow attackers offering very little contribution, Los Albicelestes will find it hard to stop the Germans from winning.

Verdict: Home win Germany (1)

Best Odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

Sun 13 July, 2014
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