FIFA World Cup Final: Germany vs. Argentina

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After 31 days, 63 matches, and 170 goals, the 2014 FIFA World Cup reaches its climax Sunday with a very familiar final.

For the third time in history, Germany and Argentina will meet in the World Cup final.

Kickoff at the Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET.

Germany booked its place in a record eighth World Cup final with that 7-1 annihilation of Brazil last Tuesday.

Joachim Löw’s men have looked sharp for much of the tournament and, after a somewhat shaky start to the knockout stages with an extra time win over Algeria, have begun to look like world beaters.

Tuesday’s master class against Brazil now has many expecting the European side to win its fourth World Cup on Sunday.

Leaving South America with the trophy will be no mean feat though.

Argentina advanced to the World Cup final following a 0-0 stalemate with the Netherlands, an impasse only cleared after a penalty shootout.

Despite the unconvincing result, Argentina has proved it can do just what’s needed to win. Before Wednesday’s shootout victory, every game this tournament has seen the Albiceleste win by one solitary goal. It might not be pretty but it is effective.

The final pitches two sides that are certainly no strangers to each other.

The two international sides have met on 20 occasions, including six at the World Cup. Argentina has won nine, Germany six, with five games ending in a draw.

Germany has won three World Cup meetings outright, as well as taking a penalty shootout in 2006. Argentina has won just once, while a group game between the sides in 1966 finished in a goalless draw.

In 1986, Argentina defeated Germany 3-2 in the final in Mexico. Germany avenged this loss four years later, defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final in Rome, Italy.

The 2014 final will serve as the rubber match if you will.

Will Lionel Messi lead Argentina to a third World Cup triumph?

Will Lionel Messi lead Argentina to a third World Cup triumph?

Check out the head-to-head history over at 11v11.com

Germany will in all likelihood remain unchanged. It’s hard to tinker with perfection after all.

Miroslav Klose, who bagged his second goal of the tournament on Tuesday to become the all-time leading World Cup goal scorer, looks set to continue in a starting role having begun the tournament on the bench.

Thomas Müller, who began the rout of Brazil with an 11th minute set piece wonder, is one goal shy of matching Colombia’s James Rodriquez’s tournament-best output of six goals. Two goals would likely give Müller the golden boot award. That is if Lionel Messi, currently sitting on four goals, doesn’t pull off some kind of wonder performance.

Of course, Messi is more than capable of such a performance. The 27-year-old has won everything there is to win at club level. Now he’ll look to etch his name alongside the pantheon of World Cup greats by taking home the championship.

Argentina is also likely to be unchanged from the lineup that saw off the Dutch on Wednesday, with defense the main focus.

Game time weather conditions are forecast to include light rain showers with the temperature in the region of 22 degrees Celsius (72F).

Will Thomas Müller capture the tournament's golden boot?

Will Thomas Müller capture the tournament’s golden boot?

Bet on Germany vs. Argentina at Bovada

Bovada has Germany (+115) listed as the favorite over Argentina (+250). In fact, a draw (+230) is considered more likely than an Argentina win.

Germany is 3-4 in World Cup finals. The team won the trophy in 1954, 1974, and 1990, and finished runner up in 1966, 1982, 1986, and 2002.

Argentina is 2-2 in World Cup finals. The team won the trophy in 1970 and 1986, and finished runner up in 1930 and 1990.

The over/under on Bovada’s main line is 2, with the over (-120) slightly favored against the under (Even).

Germany has been a goal scoring machine this tournament, ringing up a total of 17 goals, including 10 in the knockout stages. The side has allowed just four goals all tournament.

Argentina has scored eight goals in the tournament, including two in the knockout stages. The side has had the competition’s stingiest defense though, allowing just three goals, none in the knockout stages.

In 20 head-to-head meetings, Germany and Argentina have combined for 56 goals, an average of 2.8 goals per game.

World Cup Final facts

  • South American teams have gone 7-3 when facing European opponents in the World Cup final. Most recently, Brazil defeated Germany 2-0 in 2002.
  • A South American side has won the World Cup each time the tournament was held in a South American country (Uruguay in 1930 and 1950; Brazil in 1962; Argentina in 1978).
  • Germany has never won a World Cup final outside of Europe; the team lost in Mexico in 1986 and in Japan in 2002.
  • Argentina is 2-1 when playing in the World Cup final in the Americas; the side lost in Uruguay in 1930 before picking up wins in Argentina (1978) and Mexico (1986).
  • The last two World Cup finals have gone to extra time; Italy defeated France on penalties in 2006 while Spain defeated the Netherlands in extra time in 2010. In total, six finals have featured extra time (1934, 1966, 1978, 1994, 2006, 2010).

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