After a month's intense competition between 32 nations, we are now down to the final two. Germany and Argentina fight it out in the World Cup Final at 8PM on Sunday evening. For the last time this summer, it would be rude not to have a flutter, so here are some free World Cup Final 2014 betting tips.
Well where do you start with Germany? After efficiently going about their business throughout the tournament, many will have predicted a tight affair with Brazil after the Germans edged past France in the quarter-finals. However, be it a culmination of ruthless finishing and utterly shambolic defending, a 7-1 score line was beyond the wildest dreams of even the most die-hard German fan. Not only was this the first time Brazil were beaten on home soil for decades, but it was also the biggest shock in World Cup history. Favourites lose from time to time, it happens. Favourites don't lose 7-1 though, it was a truly unbelievable score line and only a rich donkey drinking from their golden trough would have bet on it. Heading into the final, we are now faced with a conundrum of some sorts – Just how good were Germany in that game and how awful were Brazil?
In an absolute polar opposite to the other side of the draw, Argentina and Holland served up one of the least memorable semi-finals in World Cup history. As has been the trend with many of the games in the knockout stages, teams are not set up to win, they are set up not to lose. In 90 minutes of football, there were two shots on target (both Argentina). With some of the finest attacking players in the world on show, this is such a disappointing statistic. Whilst the game will have been football porn for someone like Alan Hansen, it was far from the spectacle the rest of us were hoping for. With the small consolation of an exciting penalty shootout partially redeeming the dampest of squibs.
Up until the last round, both teams actually boasted a very similar record. After coasting through their respective groups, they needed extra-time goals to see them through the round of 16. As well as progressing with 1-0 victories in the quarter-finals. Whilst the momentum will be with the Germans after their record breaking win, one must not forget that a final is one game where anything can happen.
Looking at the prices for 90 minutes and it is clear the bookies are trying to tempt us away from the draw. Germany are available at a best price of 11/8 which is still a decent offer given their exploits against Brazil. Argentina are available at 5/2 – which considering this is a team with Lionel Messi in it – is the juiciest of carrots. The ever more popular and frequent draw is available at 9/4. This is as short as they come but seeingas half of the knockout games have finished this way, it could well be the most sensible of the three to back. Could I get any closer to that fence?!
For those of you looking to back either team to lift the trophy. Germany are on offer at a much shorter 8/11 with Argentina available at 5/4. Both teams can be backed at odds of 10/1 to win on penalties, but I would not want to choose between the two nations with the best World Cup penalty records.
Decision time it is then. Well my head says Germany, my heart says Argentina and the statistics point towards the draw. Being a bit of numbers man, I am going to go with the draw at 9/4 with Bet365 and furthermore a 1-1 correct score with the same bookmaker at 5/1. In the event of a stalemate, Bet365 will refund your stake. There have been several 0-0s in the knockout stages already so this is an excellent piece of insurance.
Further down the line, Lionel Messi has been really quiet in the last couple of games and on the biggest of stages I think it could be his time to shine. Although Germany were rampant against Brazil, I can't forget that this was the same team taken to extra-time by Algeria in the last 16. Argentina on the other hand have kept three consecutive clean sheets and are starting to look a really tough nut to crack at the back. If they can keep Holland's front three quiet for two hours, Germany will have to produce another special performance in the final to lift the trophy. Therefore back Argentina to be World Cup winners at 5/4 with Bet 365.
Finally, what World Cup final would be fit without a longshot. Heading into the goalscoring market and I have had my eye on one player in particular this tournament. Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay has been a frequent target from set-pieces and even came within a whisker of opening the scoring against Holland last time out. Unfortunately for him, he received a boot in the chops instead. However, in 41 games for Portuguese champions Benfica this year, Garay managed to find the net eight times and even stepped up second to smash a penalty home in the last round. This guy is certainly no mug in front of goal and with odds of 16/1 to score anytime with Bet365, you are getting some excellent value considering most other bookmakers are offering half that price. In addition to this, a 1-0 scorecast with the same player is on offer at a whopping 150/1 with Ladbrokes. Whilst I don't condone gambling at such long odds, this final comes once every four years, so why not take a chance. There could be some very twitchy legs at 0-0 with ten minutes to go.
Argentina v Germany Betting Tips
Draw – Bet Here at 9/4 with Bet365
Argentina to win the World Cup – Bet Here at 5/4 with Bet365
Garay to Score Anytime – Bet Here at 16/1 with Bet365
Garay to Score First and Argentina to Win 1-0 – Bet Here at 150/1 with Ladbrokes
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