The climax to a thrilling summer of football on Sunday and the side that produced World Cup 2014’s most thrilling performance to date are tipped to lift the trophy.
Germany play Argentina at the Maracana for the sport’s biggest prize in a repeat of both the 1986 and 1990 showpiece and the Europeans are 4/6 across the board.
Having humiliated hosts Brazil in the last four with that unforgettable 7-1 thrashing, Joachim Low’s men are rightly considered the favourites but their opponents possess Lionel Messi and the Argentine playmaker has so often proved the difference.
With Germany it is very much emphasis on the team rather than any one individual but in Thomas Muller they boast a player as deadly as any inside the penalty box.
It was Muller’s strike partner Miroslav Klose that broke Ronaldo’s World Cup finals goal scoring record when finding the target for the sixteenth time in total versus the hapless Brazilians but the young pretender now has 11 to his name in just two tournaments and is seemingly just very hard to shackle.
While Germany have been plundering the goals of late, Argentina have edged their way to the final, requiring extra time to beat Switzerland in the last 16 before a penalty shootout triumph over the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
That came after a goalless 90 minutes versus Louis van Gaal’s third place finishers but was a third consecutive clean sheet in the knockout stage and Argentina mainly have Javier Mascherano to thank.
The converted midfielder has been the glue holding it all together at the back for the South Americans and was exceptional when limiting Arjen Robben and Robin van Perise to barely any sights at goal in the last four.
If Argentina are to prevail then Mascherano will need to produce another monster effort but, while clearly he is capable, Germany have threats right throughout their side.
Argentina will be desperate for Angel Di Maria to be passed fit to take and they would be much more likely winners were the Real Madrid man on a going day.
Di Maria was the hero when the Swiss were downed late on and crucially links up as effectively as another other teammate with Messi.
Captain Messi has achieved everything in the game at club level with Barcelona and glory on Sunday would confirm the loveable number 10 as the greatest of all time. It is highly possibly, of course, but the feeling is that Argentina need to play above themselves to prevail and Germany look the safer wager to lift the trophy.
2pts Back Germany To Win World Cup @ 4/6 (various)