Friday, June 30, 2006
Germany Vs Argentina
Before the tournament started, you wouldn't have given Germany a prayer in this match. Indeed, the Germans second group game saw a distinctly unconvincing late victory over Poland, where as Argentina were destroying the team with the best qualifying defensive record in Europe, 6-0. However, since that game, Germany have started to impress with their forward play and kept two clean sheets, they now look dangerous with Ballack providing the assists and the two Poles up front topping the scoring charts. Argentina on the other hand have perhaps peaked too soon and only avoided the dreaded penalty shootout against an impressive Mexico side thanks to a miracle strike from Maxi Rodriguez. This is shaping up to be a fantastic game and is a real tough one to call. I'll go with Argentina but it all depends on how their midfield cope with Ballack, the other interesting battle is that of Lahm running at the hapless Scaloni - should be entertaining! If it goes to extra time and penalties, I think the Germans might well edge it, home support can never be underestimated; Argentina must win in 90 minutes.
Verdict: Argentina win.
Italy Vs Ukraine
Probably the least immediately enthralling of the four quarter finals on paper. Italy have been ruthless throughout and have already played some very good teams, teams much better than Ukraine in fact. Shevchenko has hardly set the World Cup alight and as the Ukraine's talisman he hasn't really performed, even missing a penalty in the shootout with Switzerland. The last time Ukraine met a decent team, they got beaten 4-0, whilst Italy do not pose the same attacking threat of Spain, I still can't see beyond them winning this match with ease. Defensively they have been superb and conceded just one goal so far, a feat equalled only by Brazil and Portugal.
Verdict: Italy win.
Tomorrow's predictions to follow.
Tags: world cup | germany | argentina | brazil | france
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