Germany profile – firepower could compensate for frail defence
History could be about to repeat itself, as Germany are 10/1 to beat Argentina on penalties as they did in their 2006 World Cup quarter-final clash.
Joachim Low, however, has assembled a side with enough firepower to win inside 90 minutes, and a Germany win in normal time is priced at 12/5.
Manuel Neuer was at fault for Matthew Upson’s goal during Germany’s 4-1 hammering of England, though this was merely an aberration for the Schalke goalkeeper.
The 24-year-old has otherwise performed very steadily, which is reflected by Germany’s recent record of only conceding three goals from their last seven matches.
Germany captain Philipp Lahm is one of the world’s leading full-backs, and his forward runs will provide Joachim Low’s side with vital width.
Per Mertesacker’s lack of pace could be a weakness, though, especially against Argentina’s livewire forwards. The Werder Bremen defender is expected to mark Gonzalo Higuain, whose agility and lethal finishing make him a tempting bet to score first at 9/2.
There are fewer worries about Mertesacker’s partner at the heart of Germany’s defence, Arne Friedrich, who has been converted from a left-back into a very competent central defender.
Germany’s attacking midfielders have produced some breathtaking football at the World Cup, and Mesut Ozil, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller have scored six goals between them so far.
Bastian Schweinsteiger dictates proceedings from a deeper role, while his fellow central midfielder Sami Khedira could be instructed to track back to cover Argentina’s roaming forwards.
Lone striker Miroslav Klose scored when Germany met Argentina in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final, and the Bayern Munich forward is 5/2 to strike at any time in this year’s clash.
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