|World Cup 2014
ScheduleSunday, 13 July 2014 at 19:00 GMT / 20:00 UK / 00:30 IST
VenueEstádio do Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro)
Next Sunday, two former World Champions, Germany and Argentina, will measure forces at the splendorous Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup 2014 final. It will be the third time these football superpowers will meet at a World Cup tournament final, after their previous clashes at Mexico in 1986 (won by the Argentineans) and four years later in Italy, where Die Mannschaft clinched a 1-0 narrow win.
Almost twenty-four years ago, on a packed Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Andreas Brehme tore apart the Argentinean dreams of revalidating the World Cup title when on the 85’ minute he placed the ball inside the net of Sergio Goycochea from the penalty spot, thus offering the Germans their third victory at the World’s most important football competition.
After their indescribable win against Brazil last Tuesday, the Germans will certainly face the tournament’s final with a share deal of optimism. Die Mannschaft offered the Brazilians a lesson they will surely never forget and cemented their position as one of the best and strongest teams in the World of football currently. Joachim Löw continued what he started against France with a small and almost unnoticeable change on the German midfield triangle, which offered the team a greater depth in their game and a fair share of extra creativity, with Schweinsteiger working as a deep lying playmaker in front of the centre back duo.
For the match against Argentina, it is not likely that Joachim will impose any significant changes in his team, although he might still be worried with Mats Hummels’ physical condition, who doesn’t seem 100% recovered from his recent injury.
As for Argentina, the next Sunday’s final represents more than a mere chance to win the World Cup, as they are playing at the home of their all-time South-American rivals and they will face the team that “robbed” them from the possibility of lifting the World Cup trophy for the third time in just twelve years’ time, back in 1990.
The current Albiceleste is nothing but a shadow of the team led by Diego Armando Maradona back in 1986 and 1990. Alejandro Sabella’s boys performances in the tournament so far have been a mix of utter boredom and glimpses of sheer inspiration from Leo Messi, who has been carrying the team on his back since day one of the competition, even being miles away from his personal best.
Argentina’s midfield line seems to lack creativity and the eventual absence from Di Maria, who is currently injured, will certainly constitute Alejandro Sabella’s major headache for next Sunday’s final. The Argentinean manager will surely not materialize significant changes in his team, although it is possible that he will promote the return of Fernando Gago to centre of the pitch, in order to offer more “insights” to the midfield line, that is if the Real Madrid’s player fails to recover from his injury.
Regardless of all the facts and stats, the truth is that there aren’t any favourites for the next Sunday’s final. Although Germany seem to be enjoying a fantastic moment, one cannot rule out Argentina, who, on an inspired night, may cause a major setback to the all-powerful Mannschaft.
Stats: W-4 L-0 D-1
Recent Form - WWWWD
Stats: W-5 L-0 D-0
Recent Form - WWWWW
Germany (4-2-3-1) - Neuer - Lahm - Hummels - Boateng - Howedes - Khedira - Schweinsteiger - Kroos - Özil - Müller - Klose
Argentina (4-3-3) - Romero - Zabaleta - Demichelis - Garay - Rojo - Gago - Mascherano - Biglia - Messi - Lavezzi - Higuaín