The iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro is the setting for the FIFA World Cup 2014 final as Germany and Argentina go to battle for the biggest honour in football this Sunday, July 13.
While Germany thumped hosts Brazil in order to book their place in the finals, Argentina won on penalties in the second semi-final against Netherlands after the match ended goalless after 120 minutes of football.
Germany will be clear favourites to win the Cup this time around after subjecting the hosts to a 7-1 defeat at the semis.
In an unprecedented first half assault on the home team, the Germans simply rolled them into the ground with Joachim Loew’s side scoring four goals in six minutes and five in total in the first half.
The three-time world champions scored two more goals in the second half through Andre Schurrle, in turn humiliating the hosts.
Germany had been accused of playing tournament football post their 4-0 win against Portugal in the opener. Their results in the knockout stages had all been on small margins, but their demolition of the hosts has lifted the spirit among their fans and neutrals.
The Germans played expansive, direct, beautiful football to reach the finals of what has been a hotly-contested World Cup which has been held at the home of the beautiful game.
Mats Hummels is expected to be fit for the finals as the Germans will benefit greatly from having an extra day of rest ahead of the big match. The fact that they finished their job in the ninety minutes will greatly benefit the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze.
Although the team has been showing great spirit and mentality to eke out results, they displayed the kind of damage that they can inflict when they ran riot in the semi-final. The kind of squad that the Germans have brought to Brazil are absolutely world class and it looks like this can be their year.
Argentina have also progressed into the finals after learning how to win games under their manager Alejandro Sabella. While the Argentines have a wealth of attacking talent in their side, this team has also made a case for their defence.
The only team which has had some success against this side are the Nigerians who lost 3-2 to the South Americans in the group stage. Since then, the Albiceleste have been more pragmatic in their approach as they have buckled up in defence and embraced tactics that have seen them qualify for their first World Cup final in 24 years since Italy ’90.
Argentina boast of some of the best attacking talent in world football with captain Lionel Messi leading from the front. The likes of Angel di Maria, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Sergio Aguero, and Gonzalo Higuain complete the list of attacking options that Argentina possess.
However, the fact is these world class players have never before really gelled well for the national team. Till before the World Cup that is.
The defensive midfielders and their defenders have been the true heroes for Argentina in Brazil. The amount of work that the likes of Javier Mascherano, Ezequiel Garay, Pablo Zabaleta, Marcos Rojo, and Frederico Fernandez, and Fernando Gago have put in has been absolutely phenomenal.
From an attacking point of view, Messi has been their standout performer at the tournament.
The match will be a huge occasion for the man who will now want to fulfill the wish of millions of football fans. The four-time Ballon d’Or winner and arguably the best footballer of our times has a great opportunity to be recognized as the best of them all if he could help his team lift the Cup at the Maracana. Some already feel that this is precisely the little genius’ destiny.
The final will be a great affair with both teams expected to remain true to their football philosophies as the rest of the world awaits to crown a new champion. Both teams will want to attack and win this world cup in style and after what will probably be a tights start, I see at leat a couple of goals in this one.
Back over 1.5 goals at 8/15 with BetVictor
Back the half time score draw at 10/11 with bet365