Saturday, July 03, 2010

Preview of Quarter-final 3: Germany v Argentina

This is always one of the biggest games in world football given the past footballing history between the two countries. This is a repeat of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup final as well as the quarter-final in 2006. in 1986 Argentina won a classic 3-2, in 1990 Germany won 1-0 as a bad tempered Argentina had two men sent off. And in 2006 Germany won on penalties, with a fight or on-field brawl occurring straight afterwards.

There is a lot of bad blood between Germany and Argentina and there has been a lot of things said by both camps in the lead up to this match. Bastian Schweinsteiger (with some validity) has accused Argentina of a lack of respect in the way they harrass referees for decisions. To which Maradona responded: "Bastian, are you nervous?" Phillip Lahm has said that Argentina are bad losers. Tevez said that Argentina were more afraid of Mexico than Germany. Whatever happens tonight there will be no love lost between the two sides and don't be surprised (especially if Argentina lose) if there is another brawl. And also don't be surprised if there are a few aggressive fouls and maybe a few cards!

Both sides have been in great form this World Cup. Argentina have scored the most goals (10 in four games) and Germany are just one behind. Argentina have the irresistable attacking forces of the likes of Messi, Higuain and Tevez and Germany have the equally exciting Oezil and Mueller at the ready. Many questioned Maradona's managerial ability but the mercurial Argentinian seems to have decided on what he considers to be his best line-up and his close bonding with his players appears to be working. His tactics are also generally good. The German squad are the second youngest at the World Cup and are hungry, playing without fear.

Expectations: A fiesty match with a fair few goals is a good bet. Both teams have greater strengths in attack and the odd weakness in defence. There are 8 players going into the game on a yellow card but no-one is suspended for this game.

Quotes: "This is why I'm in coaching in the first place, for games like this, against teams like England and Argentina,'' Low said. ``I don't have to be overly emotional in my pep talk to my team because they are extremely motivated and absolutely hot to play this match. We can't wait to get out there.''

Maradona, asked what he would tell his team, replied: "I will tell them they've got to leave their life on the pitch. There is an entire country behind them, so excited, and they are depending on this team to get up in the morning with a smile on their faces.''

With 5 titles between them La Albiceleste and Die Nationalmannschaft could serve up a classic - we'll have to wait and see.

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