We saw a very topsy-turvy semifinal as Germany played their best game of the tournament and embarrassed the Brazilians 7-1. In the other game, we watched Netherlands put forth a listless effort against Argentina, which was quite uncharacteristic of them given how lively they looked in their other games. In any case, it sets up for some intriguing matchups over the weekend.
Germany vs Argentina – 2014 World Cup Finals Pick
This just has the feel of a German win, doesn’t it? Argentina looks like they will again be without Angel Di Maria, who is the team’s best offensive player outside of Lionel Messi. That means we’re likely to see another defensive-minded approach. It feels as though it will play out like this: Argentina will sit back and defend, Germany will press and look for openings and Argentina will hope to find a goal on the counter attack.
Basically, unless Messi does something spectacular, it will probably be a German win. And not just one of those 1-0 or 2-1 wins, but it could be an absolute thrashing like the Germans gave the Brazilian national team in the semifinal.
Germany has gotten stronger as the tournament has gone on. Their midfield has been fantastic and the final touches in the end by Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller have been on point. Argentina’s offense simply hasn’t been there, and they’ve squeaked by in their wins, winning them all by exactly one goal or penalty kicks. While their defense has been stellar (it’s the only team that’s yet to trail in the 2014 World Cup) it will likely bend, bend and bend some more before eventually breaking.
Pick: Germany +110
Brazil vs Netherlands – 3rd Place Game
Brazil and Netherlands will square off for third place in what should be an emotional tilt. Brazil was humiliated in front of their fans, so you wonder where their minds will be on Saturday. They hadn’t lost on their home turf in 39 years; could they really lose back-to-back games?
One would have to think that Brazil will improve its defense for the upcoming game. With Thiago Silva back, the captain should help get things organized. Netherlands has failed to score a goal within 90 minutes in their last two contests but haven’t allowed a tally either. Brazil is missing Neymar and while Holland’s Robin Van Persie played against Argentina (after being in doubt due to injury), he didn’t look particularly effective. All of that adds up to an under.