Brazil, Argentina, Germany and Holland head the betting at the World Cup but in truth none of those teams are playing like world beaters.
Brazil required penalties to edge out Chile, Holland left it late against Mexico and Germany left it even later against Algeria, while Argentina have been too reliant on Lionel Messi thus far.
However, it is the fact that none of the leading sides is playing vintage football that means Germany are worth backing at odds of 9/2 to go all the way.
Germany’s quarter-final opponents France, like Die Mannschaft, failed to reach top gear last time out but Joachim Loew’s side are likely to be the more confident of the two.
While Germany’s failure to recreate the sublime football shown in their 4-0 win over Portugal earlier in the tournament can be blamed partly on a mixture of nerves and fatigue France’s issues are entirely of their own making.
Didier Deschamps is clearly undecided on what his most effective attacking line up is and while Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann suffer from his meddling, Loew is safe in the knowledge that Thomas Muller is in fine form.
France and Germany have never met in the World Cup finals before but the 2-1 win Loew’s men secured last time out – with Muller on the score sheet – will fill them with confidence going into the tie.
Next up for Germany will be Brazil or Colombia and supposing the hosts manage to squeeze past James Rodriguez and the rest of Los Cafeteros – and on current form that’s some assumption – Germany will again be confident, having run out 3-2 victors when the sides last met.
The key to beating Brazil clearly lies in shackling Neymar and if the Germans can do that the stuttering Selecao strike force of Fred, Jo and Hulk are unlikely to worry the German’s back line.
A final against either Holland or Argentina would likely follow, but should Germany knock out hosts Brazil en route to the showpiece finale, surely the opponents would become irrelevant.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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