A series that started by deciding, once and for all, who was better as a veteran holding midfielder out of Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo, ends by giving the defining word on who, Germany or Argentina, is best placed to win the World Cup final.
Germany are the 13/10 favourites to win the match over 90 minutes and, if the scores below are anything to go by, it’s them that you should be putting your hard-earned dosh on come kick off time:
Form: Germany 7 / Argentina 6
No side, let alone the finalists, have really set this tournament alight and that’s one of the main reasons that it’s been such a superb event, it’s been wide open.
Germany’s destruction of Brazil clearly gives them the edge over a unit that, without Lionel Messi, could have conceivably gone home in the group stage.
But was the Brazil thumping down to German excellence of host nation incompetence?
Defence: Germany 7 / Argentina 8
Algeria, of all sides, made Germany look distinctly average as a defensive unit in the last 16 however, Joachim Loew’s obsession with fielding slow centre backs across his entire back four seems to have ceased in the nick of time.
La Albieceleste, on the other hand, have looked solid throughout, conceding three goals to this point.
Midfield: Germany 8 / Argentina 8
Kroos, Khedira and Schweinsteiger have all excelled themselves over the course of the tournament, but Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano haven’t been nominated for Golden Ball honours for nothing. The Real Madrid man’s absence would be a big blow for Argentina.
Attack: Germany 8 / Argentina 9
Having the World Cup’s record goalscorer and the record holder elect in your squad is certainly cause for confidence if your German, but neither Miroslav Klose or Thomas Muller are named Lionel Messi and the sheer presence of the Barcelona man is enough to give Argentina a slim advantage.
Coaches: Germany 9 / Argentina 6
Loew has been excellent in Brazil, from his use of substitutes to his tactical tinkering and general calm, suave demeanour on the sidelines, few managers at this tournament deserve a place in the final more.
Alejandro Sabella, on the other hand, does little to inspire. From players squirting him with water while he issues instructions to reports that Messi refuses to let him set up with a back-three, this is a nation being led by a feeble coach.
Tournament History: Germany 10 / Argentina 6
Since the world cup started in 1930, there have only been six tournaments where Die Mannschaft haven’t been in the third-place playoff or better and two of those they weren’t even involved in.
The titles, four runners-up medals and the same number of bronzes is hard to compete with and Argentina’s record of five jaunts beyond the quarter finals pales in comparison.
Total: Germany 49 / 60 – Argentina 43 / 60
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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