So, we are now down to two well, four if you are to consider the HollandBrazil third place play-off anything more than academic.
But anyway, after Sunday July 13, the eagerly-awaited 2014 World Cup in Brazil will have its curtains brought down, and focus will shift to 2018 in Russia. But after seeing the way both Argentina and Germany have played on their way to the final, their meeting in another World Cup final since 1990 is all set to be pulsating.
However, more interesting is how contrasting styles of play are going to be pitted against each other. Alejandro Sabella’s team has shown good tactical discipline albeit the fact that they haven’t been as expansive. Rather, Argentina have been so conservative and thus offered little thrill, something we have grown accustomed to associating Lionel Messi with whenever he plays for Barcelona. Not for Argentina, though.
However, Joachim Loew’s Germany team has been the total opposite playing with fluidity and flair, as seen in their slithered passes and quick movement off the ball.
Opening up defences hasn’t been a problem for them and have in almost every sense been the best team in Brazil over the last one month. It is against that backdrop that I gly believe this is Germany’s World Cup to lose.
By some stretch, Germany is a better team than Argentina a more cohesive unit and a lot quicker on the ball with more scoring threats than Argentina can boast of.
While there is too much reliance on Messi, which makes Germany’s game plan a lot easier, stopping Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze is an uphill task.
Of course Argentina’s defence has been impregnable and with Javier Mascherano tenacious without being dirty and nasty in defensive midfield, it is unlikely Argentina will be a high-way through the middle. But without efficient and ruthless attacks in the final third, an aspect synonymous with Argentina, it will be difficult for them to win or better still open up the Germany defence, which has already conceded four goals as opposed to Argentina’s three.
Besides, Argentina’s other forwards Gonzalo Higuain, Kun Aguero, Ezekiel Lavezzi and Rodrigo Palacio have been a shadow of themselves. Without the best of form, they ooze little confidence that they will make a big difference for Argentina although it isn’t entirely their fault.
Sabella has failed to get them playing well much of which comes as a result of the way he fields them. For the years I have watched Palacio for example, I have never known him to be comfortable playing out on the wings. He is an orthodox target man, period.
And placed against each other, Loew is bound to beat Sabella on a tactical level.
Brazil v Holland: 2-3
Germany v Argentina: 2-1
Source : The Observer