Argentina Vs Brazil – Estadio de Maracana, Rio de Janeiro 10PM (Ugandan Time)
Estadio de Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the place to be as Germany and Argentina contest their third World Cup final in history. The two nations have met before in the finals at Mexico in 1986 and four years later in Italy with Argentina winning in Mexico before Germany exerted revenge in 1990.
ARGENTINA TEAM NEWS:
Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria have been declared fit for the tie though the latter may start from the bench but left fullback Marco Rojo limped off training on Friday though medics confirm he is available for selection.
Coach Sabella is expected to stick with an almost similar side that overcame the Dutch in the semis though Aguero could replace Ezequiel Lavezzi in the front three. Martin Demichilis may retain his place after impressive performances in the previous two starts he has earned so far alongside Ezequiel Garay with Pablo Zabaleta and Marco Rojo filling the right and left fullback positions respectively.
Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia are still expected to offer defensive cover with Angel Di Maria (if declared fit to start) completing the midfield trio. Captain Lionel Messi leads the line alongside the impressive Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero though Sabella may opt not to play an open game against an effective Germany side. Nominee for the “Golden glove” Sergio Romero will without doubt start between the posts.
One to Watch – LIONEL MESSI:
The Little Messiah accounts for 50% of Argentina’s goals at the tournament (scoring four and assisting one) and will still be the main man for the South Americans. This is a game that offers the Barcelona man a chance to seal his position in the pantheon of football greats.
He has won everything there is to win at club level, scooped up four Ballon d’Or awards and now stands one match away from emulating Diego Maradona by guiding Argentina to World Cup glory. He must be keenly watched by the Germans.
GERMANY TEAM NEWS:
Joachim Low has no injury worries ahead of the final with news confirming that defender Mats Hummels who didn’t play a part in the second half of Brazil’s semifinal also declared fit. No changes are expected from the side that annihilated The Selecao 7-1 an implication that Arsenal defender Per Mertasacker may still remain on the bench.
One to watch – THOMAS MULLER:
The Bayern star is the silent weapon of the already effective Germany machine. Muller has netted five goals in the campaign including a hat trick against Portugal on day one. Not easy to mark as its difficult to trace Muller’s best position, but whether he plays as a ‘false nine’, a central striker or a right-sided attacker, he will always score goals. He boosts a record 12 goals and six assists in two World Cup finals and may likely add another if not keenly watched by the South Americans.
Argentina Vs Germany Statistics and History (Opta):
– This will be the third time the two nations clash in a World Cup final. In 1986, Argentina beat Germany 3-2 whilst the West Germans beat the South Americans 1-0 in 1990.
– Germany are set to play in their eighth World Cup final — more than any other nation. They have won three titles and have now reached a World Cup final in each of the last seven decades (1954, 1966, 1974, 1982 and 86, 1990, 2002 and now 2014).
– Germany’s most previous World Cup victory came in 1990 against Argentina while Argentina’s last victory came against Germany in 1986.
– Argentina are set to play in their fifth World Cup final, they have won two and lost two of the previous four.
– This is the 10th time that teams from Europe and South America face each other in the final. Seven of these finals have been won by the teams from South America.
– Both sides will face off for the seventh time at the World Cup, the only fixtures that have been played as often are Brazil v Sweden and Germany v Yugoslavia/Serbia (seven times).
– Germany have won three and lost just one of the previous six World Cup encounters with Argentina (D2). Germany also won the penalty shootout in 2006 against Argentina.
– Germany had eliminated Argentina from the 2006 World Cup (1-1 AET and 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-final) and from the 2010 World Cup (4-0 in the quarter-final).
– Argentina have won nine out of 20 games against Germany (D5 L6). The last meeting (August 2012, Frankfurt) saw Argentina win 3-1.
– No side has kept as many clean sheets as Argentina in the 2014 World Cup (four, Germany have three).
– Argentina are yet to concede a goal in the knock-out stages at this tournament (despite playing extra-time in two of their three games).
– Miroslav Klose has scored more World Cup goals than any other player in history and as many as the entire current Argentinean squad (16).
– Only Lothar Matthäus (25) has played more World Cup games than Klose (23, as many as Paolo Maldini).
– Klose is the only player in both squads who has already played in a World Cup final (2002, 0-2 v Brazil).
– Müller (2010 and 2014) and Klose (2002 and 2006) are the only players in history to score 5+ goals at consecutive World Cup tournaments.
– Müller is the first-ever Golden Boot winner to reproduce his number of goals at the following World Cup (five goals in 2010, five in 2014).
– Müller could also become the first player ever to win the Golden Boot at successive World Cups.
– Lionel Messi has scored five World Cup goals to date, but none of them in the knockout stages.
– Either Angel di Maria or Sami Khedira will become the 10th player in history to win both the Champions League and the World Cup in the same season. Seven of the previous nine to do so have been German (Bayern Munich 1974) along with Christian Karembeu in 1998 and Roberto Carlos in 2002.
A tight contest with a rich history. Germany appear the team to beat but any team with Lionel Messi can’t be written off so easily. True, Germany play as a unit but Argentina have Messi — a player that can decide a game on his own. Nevertheless, since football is a team sport, I go for a German victory. WINNER – GERMANY.
What is your PREDICTION?