World Cup 2014 final: Germany vs Argentina preview

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Rio de Janeiro, July 13: Argentina will take on Germany in the final of the 2014 World Cup at the historic Maracana Stadium here on Sunday.

It will be the third time the two teams will meet in a World Cup final, the most number of times any two sides have done so. Argentina won the 1986 final 3-2 while Germany avenged that defeat four years later by one goal to nil.

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[Read: 10 facts about Argentina-Germany final]

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In fact, the Argentines have lost all the matches they have played against the Germans since the 1986 final, including the 0-4 drubbing in the quarterfinals of the 2010 edition in South Africa. They had also lost to Germany on penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2006 edition.

The Germans will be confident going into the match after the 7-1 victory over Brazil, something which has already become an epic in the football history of this planet. The team also has no injury problems and the same line-up that started against Brazil is expected to take the field in the final. Veteran striker Miroslav Klose, who became the highest scorer in World Cup by overtaking Ronaldo in the match against Brazil, will be supported by Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil. Mats Hummels has a tendonitis problem but is expected to take the field.

This is the third time Germany and Argentina are meeting in a WC final

For Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella, however, injuries pose a threat. Angel Di Maria, the Real Madrid player who scored the later winner against Switzerland in the pre-quarterfinals, remains a doubtful starter with a thigh injury. Manchester City's Sergio Aguera has recovered and could be field ahead of Ezequiel Lavezzi or even Gonzalo Higuain. Marcos Rojo, a left-back, is also nursing a sore ankle but would be fit for the final competition.

The match will be more of a battle between the Argentine defence and German offence. Argentina have conceded just three goals in this tournament so far while the Germans have scored 17. It will be interesting if Argentina concede a goal first, something which they haven't done so far.

Argentina have won four of the last eight matches against Germany with the most recent one occurring in August 2012 when they won 3-1 in an international friendly. Argentine captain Lionel Messi overtook former captain Diego Maradona in terms of national appearances in the semifinal match against the Netherlands.

Germany have lifted the World Cup thrice (1954, '74 and '90) while Argentina have won it twice (1978 and '86).

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