Argentina V Germany Preview: Odds & Betting Tips – Saturday, 3rd July (Quarter-Final)
Argentina V Germany Preview
Kick-off: Saturday, 3rd July – 15:00 GMT
Venue: Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
World Cup Quarter-Final
The exciting prospect of facing their fierce South Americans rivals, Brazil, is still on the cards but Argentina must first tame one of the competition’s most consistent nations in that of Germany, who will be aiming to make their 12th semi-final in the history of the competition which is in stark contrast to the Argentine’s who would make just their fifth. Even so, it is Argentina who arrive in Cape Town as favourites after scoring 10 goals in just 4 games, but will they put their striking prowess to good use on Saturday in a game which promises to produce fireworks.
Reports claims that Diego Maradona had two dream encounters planned for these finals, with the first being against the English. That dream was wrecked at the Round of 16 stage by their last-eight opponents Germany, who themselves are high up on Argentina’s list of enemy’s. Four years ago in Germany, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Argentina went crashing out of the tournament on penalties to the Germans before later exacting their frustration and disappointment onto the German team with their hands. It was ugly scenes, an act of a sore loser from an Argentine viewpoint, and they’ll be eager to make amends for their embarrassing post-match antics, as well as their shortcomings, by avoiding any such commotion by beating Germany, preferably before the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
A lot has been made of Argentina’s prolific strike force, the five-strong list of deadly forwards which now contain two-goal Carlos Tevez, Golden Boot contender Gonzalo Higuain and the majestic Lionel Messi, who has yet to find the back of anyone’s goal but has looked magnificent nonetheless. Their 10 goals in 4 games would emphasis their strength in numbers up front, with Argentina currently leading the way in goals scorer for the tournament so far, but it is easy to forget that a defence which did look suspect on paper has conceded just two goals thus far. That’s not to say that Argentina’s defence should be feared in any which way, nor that it’s impenetrable, but it was previously an area of huge concern and it’s definitely a pleasing aspect to see Maradona’s defence going about their business in a casual and reliable manner, as the forwards continue to steal the limelight with their goals.
Diego Maradona is fortunate enough not to have any injury woes or suspension headaches to concern himself with as he ponders how to mastermind a victory over an opponent which will put them through their paces like no other has done previously in the tournament. There are, however, several with a yellow card to their name and another caution would mean they would miss a potentially all South American semi-final with Uruguay or Ghana. Javier Mascherano, who is prone to receive a card in big games, and Gabriel Heinze, another to have a tendency to pick up needless cautions, will both miss out on the last-four should they be cautioned in Cape Town. Other than that, it’s full steam ahead as Diego Maradona has a full squad of players to choose from.
Quick, hide, the Germans are coming. The sound of Joachim Low’s men marching into Cape Town would be enough to scare the socks off of any hardened footballing professional, but they may well find their match on Saturday as they prepare to take on an opponent just as feisty and battle hardened as themselves in that of South American giants Argentina. However, the Germans come baring gifts, or scalps shall we say, and will arrive at the Green Point Stadium boasting the blood of England. Will they add Argentina to their list of conquests so far in this tournament, or will the apparent immaturity of the squad be their downfall in a clash where boys are likely to be found out.
Germany were in a ruthless mood as they trampled on English dreams last Saturday, crushing one of their bitter enemy’s in a utterly dominant and convincing win over England. The Three Lions were favourites heading into that clash, just ever so slightly, so perhaps a case could be made for the Germans and their love for the underdog status. Well, if they weren’t recognised as slight underdogs in their previous clash against England they certainly will be against Argentina, as Germany are as big as 12/5 (3.40) with SkyBet and Ladbrokes to upset the odds, yes upset the odds!, on Saturday in a symmetrical fixture they won four years ago via spot-kicks. For all you ladies out there who love a bargain, we think Germany could be the deal of the century, especially if they turn up and perform as they did against England exactly a week ago.
Their four goals against England last weekend took their tally for the tournament to 9, leaving them just one shy of Argentina. That’s some achievement for a team which doesn’t have a recognised forward in its midsts, and by recognised we mean recognised for their talent and recent form. Miroslav Klose has accounted for two of those but he’s looked out of sorts for some time and may well find chances hard to come by against this Argentina defence, so the onus is on the likes of Lukas Podolski (2 Goals), Mesut Ozil (1 Goal) and Thomas Muller (3 Goals) to continue their fine run of form in front of goal because, in all honesty, their forwards just aren’t World Cup quality. With that said, you’ll struggle to find a forward more experienced and cunning that Klose, who with another three goals would equal the great Ronaldo’s record of 15 goals in finals.
Unlike his opposite number, Joachim Low does have plenty to ponder before the big game, while he isn’t fat and ugly either. The German equivalent of a glamour model has worries over two big names in that of Mesut Ozil, who has been sensational in that play-maker role and would leave a huge void should he not feature, and Lukas Podolski. The pair have had to miss large chunks of training recently and their doubts only add more woes, especially as the energetic and lively Cacua is unavailable through injury as well. Just to add insult to injury, any number of key players could miss the semi-final should they receive another caution on Saturday, including Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil and Lahm. With injuries causing havoc right now and the possibility of suspensions in the next round, the term ‘walking on egg shells’ couldn’t be more appropriate.
Our Betting Tip: Argentina to WIN – 2.38 BetFred
We, unfortunately, cannot see past an Argentina victory. The Germans were breathtaking last weekend as they dismantled England’s hopes of lifting the trophy after a 44-year drought, but there’s doubt over their defence, their forwards and their overall conditioning ahead of a clash against a team which has shaped up as possible FIFA World Cup champions. Thomas Muller commented earlier in the week that the Germans are a hard-working group of players, willing to go that extra mile for the good of the team. We hope that is true, as Low will need another courageous and industrious effort from his players on Saturday if they’re to despatch of the South Americans.
As for Argentina, they’re proving a difficult team to assess purely because they’ve looked the bee’s knees but haven’t yet been pitted against a team worthy or likely to win the title itself. This will be their first proper test of the tournament and should they handle whatever the Germans have to offer and give back twice as much, then who’s to say Argentina won’t continue going from strength to strength as they’ve done throughout the competition so far. Plus, with a deadly trio of forwards; Tevez, Messi and four-goal Higuain, it’s difficult to oppose a team possible of scoring any number of goals and unlikely to fire any blanks against any opponent.
Recommended Bet: Argentina to Score 3 or More Goals – 5.00 PaddyPower
Current Argentina v Germany Odds: