Germany appear to have had an about-turn in their stance towards forthcoming opponents. Finally, through Bastian Schweinsteiger, they have approached a game complimenting the team they are about to take on. After mocking and then soundly beating both England and Argentina, the midfielders assertions that Spain are the World’s best hint at a change in tact. German coach Joachim Low has also asserted the notion that Spain should be the match favourites!
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The Spanish were the pre-tournament market leaders and more than ten points shorter in the betting than their Semi-Final opponents. An outright market that once again under estimated a German side that nearly always make the last four. The balance has been restored for this clash having had nearly four weeks to assess the relative merits of each squad. A fraction of a price separates Spain as 13/8 favourites, as Low suggests, and Germany as minimal 7/4 outsiders on the ‘match result’ market.
The draw is 11/5 with Blue Square, who price an extra-time victory at 10/1 for Spain and a point bigger for Germany (11/1). A penalty shoot-out, something that always seem to feature for the Germans in a major tournament, is 9/1 to go their way and 10/1 to go the way of the Spanish whose history is littered with disappointments from 12-yards.
The standard question on the ‘total goals’ market is under or over 2.5? Germany have scored enough in five matches to secure an average of ‘over’ on their own. Low’s side have more than doubled Spain’s total in their matches against what, on paper, looked like stronger opposition. Spain’s six goals have the name of David Villa stamped on all but one strike, that one coming from Andres Iniesta. Fernando Torres’ name will not feature high on the list of players to showcase their skills in the Rainbow Nation so far, but he potentially has the chance of 180 minutes to set things straight.
Torres is 6/1 with Blue Square to score first in this game against the team he struck against to bring glory to his country in Euro 2008. Miroslav Klose is an identical price to break the deadlock and add to his ever increasing Finals’ tally.
The sides have each conceded a total of two goals at the tournament, including goals in 1-0 defeats in their group stage matches. The Germans are insisting that this new breed of counter attacking football was the plan all along but they haven’t faced masters of possession football like Spain yet. Vincente Del Bosque’s team had nearly 60% of the game in their quarter-final against Paraguay and hold the record for the most shots on goal in the tournament up until now.
The German midfield stopped short of mounting Gareth Barry and Javier Mascherano on hunting trophies in their previous two games as they toyed with the two Premier League players. Spain will offer a sterner test as they’ll more than likely stick with the sensible policy of two holding in the middle.
It promises to be a fascinating clash of styles!