A preview of the 2014 World Cup Final written by Kyle Goldsmith…
So here we are. After almost a month of the ‘Beautiful Game’, we will find out on Sunday whether it will be the Germans or the Argentines defending their title in Russia in four years time.
After the German’s 7-1 destruction of the hosts, Brazil, can Messi and co stop them and win the World Cup on the most hostile of soil?
Maracana Stadium – Rio de Janeiro
Lionel Messi vs Sami Khedeira & Bastian Schweinsteiger
If the Germans can stifle Messi the way the Dutch did, they could have an easy night and an easy crowning as World champions. Hummels certainly has the ability to stop Messi, but the little Argentine might not even get to have a go at him or Howedes, if holding midfielders Schweinsteiger and Khedira can do their job properly. Messi was extremely ineffective against Holland, not creating the magic that he usually does. De Jong, Wijnaldum and Martins Indi pressured him every time he received the ball, and even if he did somehow wriggle out he would get either shoved over or tripped up.
Martin Demichelis & Ezequiel Garay vs Thomas Muller & Miroslav Klose
Another key battle is Demichelis and Garay up against Muller and Klose. It’s expected that Demichelis will mark Klose, due to the now World Cup record scorer’s heading ability, and also because Muller would shred the City centre-back apart in a footrace. The more mobile Garay will take control of the 2014 World Cup top scorer Muller, who started the rout against Brazil with a beautiful finish, with the Bayern Munich striker having all the time in the world, something he will surely not get against the Argentines.
- The Germans have no suspension worries.
- It’s expected that Joachim Low will make no changes to the side that destroyed Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.
- Shkodran Mustafi is ruled out through injury.
- Andre Schurrle or Mario Gotze could start ahead of the disappointing Mesut Ozil
- Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of the final due to a thigh injury.
- Enzo Perez will likely start again in the Real Madrid man’s absence.
- Sergio Aguero was back from injury as a substitute for the semi-final so could start or come on a sub again.
- The starting eleven should be the same.
Previous Meetings: Germany wins = 7 / Argentina wins = 9 / Draws = 4
Last Meeting: Germany 1-3 Argentina (15th August 2012)
Argentina took advantage of German goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler’s red card, to record a comfortable 3-1 victory over in a friendly encounter in Frankfurt.
The Hannover keeper was given his marching orders after half an hour for bringing down Jose Sosa in the area, though Lionel Messi saw his resulting penalty saved by substitute keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, Sami Khedira’s own goal on the stroke of half-time gave Argentina a lead they would never relinquish, with Messi atoning for his spot-kick faliure with the visitors’ second goal on 52 minutes.
Angel Di Maria’s stunning drive from 30 yards out, sealed the victory with just over a quarter of an hour to go, rendering Benedikt Howedes’ 81st minute header nothing but mere consolation.
Stat of the match
This will be the third time Germany and Argentina have faced each other in a World Cup final, with both sides winning one each.
Where can I watch it?
You can take your pick between BBC One or ITV.
I expect that the Argentines will give it a good go, roared on by their impressive support, but the German’s technical ability will ultimately take over and win comfortably, heading home as 3-1 winners and the winners of the World Cup.
I too expect it to be a very close game which could go to extra time or even penalties, but after their demolition of Brazil, you can’t look past a Germany win. I’m going for a 2-1 victory for Joachim Low’s side to lift the trophy.
Have you enjoyed the World Cup? Of course you have! Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey where you can pick your team of the tournament, player of the tournament, young player of the tournament, goal of the tournament and game of the tournament. It would be much appreciated if you could do so: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SLFVRDT