A World Cup filled with plenty of goals, massive upsets, tense moments and outstanding individual performances will conclude on Monday morning when Germany take on Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana.
Both sides took very different routes to the 2014 World Cup final; with Germany humiliating Brazil in front of their home fans with an outstanding 7-1 victory, while Argentina required a penalty shootout to qualify for their first World Cup Final since 1990.
The is the third time that a World Cup final has been played between these two sides, with each side holding one victory apiece and this contest shapes as one of the most interesting World Cup finals in history.
Germany stamped themselves as the outstanding team of the 2014 World Cup with their dominant performance over Brazil and they will prove extremely tough to beat if they are able to replicate that effort against Argentina.
In a six minute period, the German offense produced one of the most outstanding exhibitions of attacking football that you will ever see and absolutely destroyed the Brazilian defense with their pinpoint passing and exquisite movement off the ball.
Argentina’s defense is far stronger than what Germany faced against Brazil and there is no chance that the Germans will have such an easy time of it in the World Cup final; with Argentina shutting down the Dutch attacking weapons of Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie across the 120 minutes of their semi-final clash.
The Dutch were simply unable to get in behind the tough Argentine defense and the likes of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Sami Khedira will need to vary their attack to create the opportunities they will need to breakdown their South American rivals.
Belgium and Netherlands were both able to shutdown Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Germany will go a long way to assuring another World Cup victory if they are able to keep the superstar quiet on Monday morning.
Germany do not have a tough holding midfielder in the ilk of Nigel De Jong and it is likely that Messi will have more space than he did against the Dutch and that will put the pressure on German central defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
Argentina offered very little in attack against the Netherlands and they appeared to miss the impact of Angel Di Maria and his combination with Messi.
It is still not certain that Di Maria will take his place in the 2014 World Cup final and his likely absence meets that Gonzalo Higuain and possibly Sergio Aguero will be under pressure to support Argentina when they are pushing forward in attack.
While Messi has dominated the headlines in the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup final, holding midfielder Javier Mascherano has been simply sensational throughout the tournament to date and was easily the best player on the pitch in their semi-final clash with Netherlands.
Mascherano will be charged with the difficult task of shutting down the outstanding German midfield and the player who has made more tackles than any other at the 2014 World Cup will need to produce another top-notch performance if his side is going to be any chance of winning this game.
There was a question mark over Argentina’s defense heading into the 2014 World Cup and they were caught out at times in the Group Stage, but they have not conceded a goal in their last 373 minutes of football.
They face a much tougher assignment against the Germans on Monday, but it is hard to see them losing their bundle in the dramatic manner that Brazil did in the semi-final.
Germany ($2.30) are clear favourites to win the 2014 World Cup final in regular time and based on their performance against Brazil it is hard to see them being beaten.
Argentina have shown plenty of character to make it this far in the tournament, but their performances have been far from inspiring and the $3.40 on offer for them to win in regular time does not offer any value.
If Germany are able to score an early goal they will force Argentina to push forward and loosen up their defense, which may give Germany the chance to put on another big score; with the $6 available for Germany to win by two or goals at Ladbrokes.com.au well worth a bet.
The leading online bookmaker are also offering their headline offers, with $5 available for both Thomas Muller to score in normal time and Germany to win in normal time and Lionel Messi to score in normal time and Argentina to win in normal time.