The only silver lining to be found in England’s thrashing by Germany was the fact it set up the most mouth-watering match of the finals.
A quarter final between Germany and Argentina is a contest to be relished between the two most impressive sides on show so far and it will surprise no one if it turns out to be the best match of this year’s World Cup. It is a tough one to call when you consider a bet on World Cup semi final participants from this match too.
However, those who bet on World Cup quarterfinals must note that the reason this match is so highly anticipated is also the reason why its winner will not go all the way. The stellar collection of attacking talent on both teams is not complimented by a stable defence, so whilst this match will be an eye-catching affair that could contain a finalist, the more secure defences of Brazil, Spain and Holland are more likely to be instrumental in deciding the winner.
Both Argentina and Germany seemingly won their last 16 matches with ease. Whilst Mexico and England were brushed aside with ease by respective 3-1 and 4-1 scorelines, they could have done more damage to their conquerors’ defence than simply scoring a single consolation goal.
Frank Lampard and Carlos Salcido highlighted goalkeeping weakness by rattling the crossbar and although no one would suggest the winners were anything other than worthy winners, the numerous chances they gave their opponents would be more severely punished on Saturday.
Germany saw off England by absorbing pressure and running riot on the counter attack. Joachim Low is tactically astute enough to change his team’s approach if necessary, but his team is used to playing that way and will struggle to contain the superior attacking threat of Argentina.
Similarly Diego Maradona might choose to strengthen a midfield that relies too heavily on the ball-winning skills of Javier Mascherano, as Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger will surely win that battle otherwise. Argentina’s centre half pairings have looked shaky throughout the tournament and Ozil is bound expose this, as he did against England.