Germany Vs Argentina (World Cup final prediction and preview)

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My Tip – Germany

History suggests Argentina may win this one as a European team has never lifted the World Cup in South America. Argentina have also come out on top when your compare previous results of both of these sides. Argentina have won 9 previous encounters, while Germany have only won 6. For the sake of football, I hope Germany wins.

They have been the better side this tournament. The Germans have scored ten more goals than Argentina and have only conceded one more. They have produced fantastic performances while beating quality sides and have disposed of two previous winners on their way to the final. Argentina have limped to the final without producing any awe-inspiring performances and the most difficult side they faced was the Netherlands, and they had to desperately hold out for a scoreless draw to ensure penalties.

Germany have are better in all areas of the pitch. The German keeper looks solid, and also capable of playing in defense while the Argentina keeper seems vulnerable and prone to mistakes. In defense, both sides are strong, but the Germans have manged to shut out much stronger offenses than the Argentinians. The German midfield works harder, covers more distance and has made more passes, but a superstar the caliber of Messi. The Argentina midfield is strong but a bit too reliant on Messi which can make their midfield easy to control. Offensively, Argentina have been a huge disappoint. Aguero has struggled to show the form he produces in the Premier league, and Higuain has been mediocre. Germany have the all time leading goal scorer of the World Cup.

The main difference between the sides is their mental attitude and approach to the game. The Germans try to play beautiful attacking football and they don’t let up, as the results against Portugal and Brazil demonstrated.  Argentina are more defensive and they have a niggly, cheating side to their game which is unpleasant to watch.

I hope we have an interesting final to put the icing on what has been an emotional,surprising and very entertaining World Cup. If you have read this blog, please leave a comment telling me anything you have enjoyed about my blog, and anything you think I can improve. I am considering doing another blog for the premier league season in England. Would you be interested in reading that blog? What changes should I make? Thanks!

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Netherlands 0 Vs Argentina 0 (Argentina win 4 – 2 0n pens)

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More World Cup heartache for the Dutch as Argentina undeservedly limp into the final. This game was the complete opposite of the other semi final. Instead of a rout with a lot of goals, we had a tense goalless game that either side could have won.

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In the first half, the Dutch were passing the ball about like masters and the Argentinians were struggling to gain possession, yet Robben and co. could not get past the sea of blue and white defenders that blocked the path to goal. When Argentina final got possession, they broke with pace and were very direct. They looked dangerous. After 9 minutes, it seemed that Messi would turn this game into the Messi show. He picked up the ball and made a direct, winding run towards the goal. After 14 minutes, Argentina had a free kick in Messi range, and he smashed a curving shot through the wall, but Cillessen did well to not only block, but also hold on to the venomous strike. Messi looked like he was in the mood to tear Holland apart.  However, this was his main contribution to the game until he took his kick in the shootout. The Dutch were marked him so tightly, he had little or no impact all game. Apart from Messi’s free kick, there were no real chances in a game that had developed into a defensive strategic battle.

In the second half, the game continued in the same vain. It some became apparent that a single goal would probably decide the out come of the game. Both sides were trying hard to unpick the defense, but with little or no rewards. With 15 minutes left, a rare Argentina cross into the box found Higuain with space and the goal at his mercy. It seemed like he had tucked the ball into the net at first, but he had screwed the chance wide and into the side netting. This would be Argentina’s last chance until the second half of extra time. The game started to resemble the Netherlands previous game, this time Argentina were playing the Costa Ricans camped in their own half hoping to get to penalty kicks.With 90 minutes on the clock, it looked like Robben had finally found the key as he broke into the Argentina box and prepared to slide the ball past Romero, but Mascherano raced back and slid in to make a fantastic sliding block. The game went to extra time, and the Netherlands, despite dominating possession, had failed to make Romero make a save.

Half way through the first half of extra time, Romero made his first and easy save when Robben’s desperate long range drive went straight towards him. The rest of the half saw Argentina blocking their goal with bodies while the Dutch couldn’t create a way through. This continued until ten minutes into the second half of extra time, when a rare Argentina attack saw Palacio chase a bouncing ball into the box, but when he beat the keeper to the ball, he could only softly head it into his grateful arms. As Argentina wanted, the game went to penalties, where the Netherlands made two huge, fatal tactical errors.

Firstly, this time they didn’t release Krull. Instead the lean, lanky giant Cillessen stood in the goal and even with his massive frame, he struggled to create an imposing figure. He looked intimidated and lacked confidence, this showed as he failed to block a single penalty. The second big blunder was allowing defender Vlaar to take the first penalty. You need to get off to a good start and the big defender took a defender’s penalty, scuffed and almost straight down the middle to allow Romero to save and become the hero. Dutch hero Sneijder joined Vlaar on the villain list as he also failed to convert, and Argentina creeped into the final.

 

Brazil 1 – Germany 7

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Germany are often painted as the bad guys of international football. Partly because of their nation’s history, but I won’t get into that, and partly because of their cold, methodical, efficient approach to football. Tonight they elevated their bad guy status to legendary villain.

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This game seemed unreal, and almost movie-like as the camera panned to shell shocked Brazilians bawling in the crowd. This is the game at the start where a the heroes are emphatically beaten by a team not dissimilar to Germany, but unlike the movies, there will not be a fairytale finish for the heroes.

Germany started off extremely well, pressuring Brazil and making it difficult for them to pass. This pressure paid off when Schweinsteiger’s corner found Muller at the far post and he side footed the ball into Brazil’s goal. Brazil tried to find an equalizer, but the Germans were too good. Their marking and pressure was making it impossible for even Brazil to form an attack. Then it happened. A six minute merciless flurry that destroyed the dreams of the host nation and shocked the world.

Klose picked up the ball in the box and smashed in a low shot. Cesar made a good diving save, but was unable to hold the ball. Klose pounced on the rebound to become the World Cup’s all time leading goal scorer with 16 goals. Brazil started to panic and they threw the game away. Lahm crossed to Kross. He riffled a shot from just outside the box into the net. 3-0. Kross stole the ball from a stunned Brazilian defender, played a one- two with Khedira and easily tapped the ball into the net. 4-0. Then the ball broke to Khedira in the box and he drove the ball past Cesar. 5-0! The stadium was shocked and Brazilian tears flooded the stadium.

This was surreal and almost like playing a football video game. The only difference was no-one could switch off the console. Brazil had to play out the rest of this game and be humiliated in front of their crying compatriots. The whistle blew for half time to give the Brazilian keeper a break from bending down to pick the ball out of his goal. I wonder what the Brazilian coach said to his players at half time. This game was beyond reach and even a super human effort in the second half would struggle to restore dignity to a team that had just had its pants pulled down in front of the world.

In the second half, substitute Paulinho broke the offside trap but volleyed his shot at Neuer. He picked up the rebound too, but Neuer pulled off a fine save to deny a pointless goal. Germany didn’t give up and seemed determined to further eradicate Brazil. Substitue Schurrle smashed in a brace past a despairing Cesar to make the score 7 (Seven!) – 0. In the dying seconds, Oscar scored probably the least celebrated goal in football history. Germany had eradicated the host 7-1 in the most memorable football slaughter ever.

 

Netherlands Vs Argentina

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My Tip – Netherlands

The Netherlands are the team that has played at the World Cup the most times without ever lifting the trophy. They lost in the final to Spain four years ago. A defeat they sweetly avenged with an opening game rout that led to the swift demise of Spain. They have made the final twice before that. In the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, they made it all the way to the final to lose to the host. This is their chance for revenge. Argentina have continued to struggle when Messi has been controlled or doesn’t perform to his incredibly high standard. The Dutch side has the strength to silence Messi and the offense to annihilate an incredibly mediocre defense.  However, if Messi puts in a star performance …

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Brazil Vs Germany

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My Tip – Brazil

Before Neymar got injured and Thiago suspended, I would have predicted an easy win for Brazil. That double slice of misfortune has evened this game a little, but I expect a fired up Brazil to make the most of their home advantage. Germany started off very strongly in this tournament, yet their performances have steadily declined. Perhaps the climate is starting to take its toll.

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Which final do you want to see?

We are almost at the World Cup final. There are only four possibilities for the final game. Which one do you want to see?

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Brazil Vs Argentina – This would be a fierce rivalry between the two top South American teams. It would be fast and fiery, but I am concerned the game could be more physical and less skillful.

Brazil Vs Netherlands – Both teams like to play attacking football. This would be an exciting game with a lot of goals.

Germany Vs Argentina – This is the game I would least like to see. They are the two most defensive minded teams of the final four, and would very likely serve up a tense, boring final.

Germany Vs Netherlands – This would be the best final. It would guarantee first time European winners on South American soil. It would be the best chance for the most entertaining team of the tournament, the Netherlands, to win their first World Cup. This game is one of the most ferocious and deeply seeded international football rivalries. These countries hate each other so much on the football pitch that they even spit on each other. This game would be amazing!

 

Netherlands 0 – Costa Rica 0 (Netherlands win on penalties)

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Although this game was goalless, it was impossible to take your eyes of this game because it seemed like a goal could happen at any moment. Costa Rica defended in numbers to try to force this game to penalties. They got their wish, but the Dutch were superior in all aspects and easily won the shootout.

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Holland dominated this game, yet struggled to find a goal as the Costa Ricans camped out in their own to stop Holland scoring. When Costa Rica did break forward, they looked dangerous. In the first half, the Netherlands had good chances to take the lead first with Sneijder and then with Van Persie, and then a Sneijder rocket of a free kick,  but Navas pulled off fine saves to ensure the half ended goalless.

In the second half, Holland were finding it even tougher to play the ball through the Costa Rican team as they were all deep in their half. When they did get through, they were caught offside by the Golem like linesman and unfortunately his disturbing mug got a lot of television time. In a rare attack by Costa Rica, Campbell fell to the ground when a Dutch defender came close to him. It was a desperate attempt to get a penalty and the referee ignored his appeal. This was, however, an important reminder to the Netherlands that Costa Rica could sneak a goal against the run of play.

In the last 10 minutes of normal time, Holland had four great chances. but frustratingly none of them landed in the net. First, Sneijder smashed a curling free kick against the post. Next, Van Persie twisted and turned till he was free in the box, but his strong shot brought an acrobatic save from Navas. Van Persie would have scored for sure if he could have connected with a cross moments later. He just couldn’t stretch his leg far enough to touch the ball with Navas in no man’s land and the goal at his mercy. Then Van Persie cracked in a free kick, Navas pulled off more heroics, and the ball rebounded to Blind who crossed back to Persie. Van Persie drove a shot past Navas, but Tejeda blocked the shot on the line, the ball spun up and cracked the cross bar. The Costa Rican goal seemed blessed.

In extra time, the Dutch struggled to make any great chances and with penalty kicks looming, the coaches started preparing their substitute keeper, Krul for the shootout. Holland were constantly being caught offside as the troll waved his magic flag. Then Costa Rica started to go for it and made a few chances themselves. The best came when Urena ran past two Dutch defenders to find himself with a clear shot at goal. He drove the ball low and Cillessen did well to stay alert enough to make a great block with his foot. It was a heart in mouth moment for the Dutch who could have easily been going out despite dominating this game. Seconds later, Sneijder pick up the ball just outside the box and his wicked, curving missile beat Navas only to be blocked by the crossbar. This game was destined for penalties, but before they started, the Netherlands brought on their super substitute Krul.

Krul was the hero of the shootout, diving to block two well struck penalties as the outfield players did what they had failed to do in normal time and all four of the penalties by the Netherlands shook Navas’ net. The Netherlands had survived this scare, and despite a valiant effort, Costa Rica’s unlikely semi-final dream was crushed.