Preview of the Word Cup 2014 Final
(betfair are offering some great odds enhancements on this match, including the best odds you’ll get anywhere on Germany and Argentina winning, plus money back if the game goes to extra time – see the foot of the page for details)
Germany (odds on at 13/10) and Argentina (12/5) will compete in the World Cup final this evening, concluding the most exciting edition of the tournament in living memory. Despite drubbing Brazil 7-1 in their semi-final, Germany can count on enthusiastic support from local fans – who would far rather cheer for their conquerors than hated local rivals Argentina.
If Argentine forward Lionel Messi is feeling the pressure ahead of the match, few could blame him given that, in the media at least, Messi is billed as Argentina’s only hope. In reality of course Argentina have a host of talented forwards at their disposal, notably Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero, all more than capable of producing a moment of genius and German heartbreak.
If Argentina win again then Messi will be propelled further upwards towards the legendary status his talent has long demanded. In victory he would be held up as a hero, in defeat a disappointment. Though this attitude may not be particularly fair Messi is more than familiar with the burden of expectation, and it may serve to save his teammates from at least some of the mounting pressure.
Germany, on the other hand, are buoyed by energy and confidence from a campaign which has featured 4-0 and 7-1 demolitions of Portugal and Brazil respectively. Forward Thomas Muller is reportedly so certain of success that he has told his friends back home to start preparing to celebrate come Sunday night.
Despite Muller’s confidence, or perhaps hubris, Argentina will be certain to fight hard to earn a third world title and their first since 1986 when Diego Maradona’s rampaging brilliance carried them to the top. If Argentina’s front line has underperformed during this tournament the same cannot be said of their defence, who have put in heavy shifts to keep four clean sheets so far. Although they may struggle to keep the talented German midfield at bay a Brazilian style capitulation is unthinkable.
Neither team will be disadvantaged by new injuries or suspensions, though Argentina will still lack Angel di Maria, with Benfica midfielder Enzo Perez expected to fill his role again. Sergio Aguero is continuing to regain fitness and any appearance would likely be from the bench. Germany are expected to name a largely unchanged side, with Philip Lahm remaining in his customary right-back position as Sami Khedira shields the back four in defensive midfield.
Germany go to the final riding a seemingly unstoppable tide of optimism which will be heavily tested by their Latin American opponents. This is the third World Cup final these teams have contested, the score currently stands one apiece, and Sunday’s game promises to be a suitably dramatic climax to an excellent tournament.
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Argentina 8 to 1 to win the World Cup – new customers