Uruguay vs Germany – Suarez will find Ozil and co too hot to handle
The third-place play-off is a World Cup fixture often regarded as an irrelevant preamble to the final but it’s clear that when the match between Uruguay and Germany kicks-off on Saturday at 7.30pm, there will be more than just pride at stake.
Each side has at least one player going for a Golden Shoe or Golden Ball title with Diego Forlan (6/1 to score first), Mesut Ozil (10/1) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (16/1) aiming for player of the tournament, while Forlan, Thomas Muller (6/1 to score first) and Miroslav Klose (7/2) still have shot at top scorer.
Klose has an even bigger prize in line, needing just a brace to overtake Ronaldo as the most prolific World Cup goalscorer of all time. He missed training on Friday because of a back injury but could still be worth taking at 11/10 to equal the Brazilian’s 15-goal record or 9/2 to break it.
Luis Suarez will make his ignominious return to action after a handball that crushed a continent and may want to show the world his more admirable side by scoring the first goal (8/1).
Even without these carrots dangling for individual players, each nation will want to end the tournament on a high.
For the South Americans a bronze medal would represent their best finish since winning the trophy in 1950, while Germany will want to prove the hype surrounding their team wasn’t misplaced. Uruguay are 9/4 to finish third with Germany a 3/10 price.
These ‘dead rubber’ games are typically free-flowing affairs – of the previous 16 such matches there have been 63 goals scored at an average of 3.9 a match. So backing over 3.5 goals at 7/4 seems a good bet.
Indeed, Germany won the last one 3-1 against Portugal and a repeat score here is possible – it’s 10/1.
Strangely enough, this match is a replica of the 1970 third-place play-off, which Germany won 1-0 – that’s a 6/1 chance this time.
On the only other occasion these sides have met at the World Cup, Germany triumphed 4-0 in the 1966 quarter-final. Another thumping like that would mirror wins over Australia and Argentina at this World Cup and is prices at 28/1.
In fact, despite Lukas Podolski, Philipp Lahm and manager Joachim Low missing training through flu, Germany could well open up against a deflated Uruguay team, who have only beaten the Fatherland once in nine previous encounters. Back a 4-1 Germany win at 25/1.
Uruguay have Diego Lugano and Nicolas Lodeiro back and could conceivably beat Germany for the first time since 1928. They won 4-1 then and a repeat here is 100/1. See the full Uruguay v Holland match betting market.