A month later, the World Cup has only one match left, and it all comes down to Germany and Argentina at the Maracana. The Germans were widely expected to have a decent tournament, but a few shaky displays early gave way to concern about whether or not they'd be able to build off the foundations laid over the past four years. They've gotten better as the month wore on, though, and they humiliated host nation Brazil in the semi-final with a resounding 7-1 victory. They're surely the favorites today, and if they even come close to hitting the same stride they did against an overwhelmed Brazil side earlier this week, it's no wonder why.
Little chance that Argentina make similar mistakes as Brazil, however, as the Brazilians were exposed over their final two tournament matches as a team not nearly as talented and well-drilled--at least when the pressure was on--as many expected. The opposite applies to Argentina, who have been sturdy, albeit slightly regressive at times, throughout the tournament. There's no Brazil-style capitulation coming from Alejandro Sabella's squad, and if they manage to keep Germany out of sync, they've got every chance of lifting their first World Cup trophy since 1986.
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