We’ve seen a number of games that went beyond extra time in this year’s World Cup, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the finale between Germany and Argentina will be decided through a cold and merciless penalty shootout.
If that will be the case, here is a rundown of each team’s strengths and weaknesses if the game indeed needs to be settled via the dreaded shootout.
But before we go through them, here are the betting lines for the Germany-Argentina extra time odds:
Germany is a team filled with players known to be automatic when in front of goal. They’ve got two of the foremost scorers in World Cup history, giving an immediate advantage in player-versus-goalie spectacle.
Miroslav Klose, the all-time leading scorer in World Cup annals, is known threat to score through headers. But he also possesses a lethal foot, as most of the goals in both club and international play can attest. Look for the Napoli striker to be in line among the penalty takers if he happens to be in the game either as substitute or an unreplaced starter.
Then there is Thomas Muller. Like the inimitable Klose, Muller is the guy who is in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time often, which allowed him to rack up a decade of goals in just two World Cups. The Bayern Munich star has played complete games throughout the tournament, so it is likely that we’ll see him in the shootout.
The likes of Andre Schurrle, Mezut Ozil, and Toni Kroos litter the roster. Even midfield bastions Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira had experience taking penalties.
However, Argentina’s edge is pretty much straightforward – they’ve just been through the agony of a penalty shootout.
The Argentines outlasted the Netherlands, 4-2 in penalties, in the semifinals. Sergio Romero was able to block two tries – the first was from Ron Vlaar, the second from a more dangerous Wesley Sneijder.
Those four scores were impeccably taken with the star of the team making sure that they chalk one immediately. Lionel Messi’s rocket was then followed by strikes from Ezequiel Garay, Sergio Aguero, and Maxi Rodriguez – who converted and won for Argentina their last penalty shootout.
Manuel Neuer has been superb at goal for Germany throughout the tournament, but it will interesting to see if he can still keep his cool in a high-stakes, make-or-break situation.
For this game to go on to extra time or even penalties, Argentina must need to find solutions to their problems. Angel di Maria and Javier Mascherano will be game-time decisions after incurring injuries. Plus they badly need someone to provide help to Messi on attacking plays.
Germany will keep Messi on mark for the rest of the game, so it is perfect for the likes of Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain to make their presence felt in the World Cup.
The stage is all set and the most coveted prize in the sporting world is on hand. If the 2014 World Cup finale needs to be decided through penalty shootout, who among Germany and Argentina will come on top from the vile and vindictive decider?
Check out Bodog Sportsbook for the final set of World Cup odds!