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Nic Ladds 7th Jul 2010 - 15:40

A fitting end for the German generals

The World Cup third-place play-off has to be one of the most anti-climatic matches of a player's career. Envious eyes and wandering minds will surely be thinking about all the what-ifs, but the players must get past this and concentrate on sending their fans home with at least half a smile on their face.

Uruguay (4/1) have surpassed all expectations in South Africa and the two-time champions will be looking for one final shock before their long flight back to South America.

Germany (8/11) have been one of the teams of the tournament, their youngsters really have done their nation proud. Their unique brand of smooth, passing football saw them slice open England and Argentina in the knock-out phase and score four goals on three separate occasions.

The team that will win this match surely comes down to the motivation in the camps. Both sides will surely be down in the dumps after losing by just one goal. Germany lost to Spain 1-0, although it could have been more, and Uruguay went down to Holland 3-2 in a thrilling match.

There has never been a 90 minute draw in a third-place play-off and I wouldn't really be worried by the draw in this match. I expect Germany's sprightly youngsters to show just why they have been a force in the competition.

In four years, or even two at the European Championships, this side will be more experienced and mature and will surely be at the forefront of the betting.  Although they could be without goals from Klose then, this match could be the ideal opportunity for them to prove they can play without him.

The second-highest World Cup scorer could miss this match with a back problem, and also miss out on his chance to overtake Ronaldo as the leading scorer. If he does manage to play, the 9/2 on Klose to score first is understandable, but possibly avoidable if he isn't fit.

Thomas Muller will be hoping to fill his large boots in this match, and long term. The Bayern Munich front man has four goals in seven appearances for Germany and is 7/1 to score first. The same price is also available on Lukas Podolski, he has two in this tournament so far and is a real threat.

If you want an outsider then look no further than Bastian Schweinsteiger, the midfield maestro has been one of the players of the tournament so far and his record internationally is one goal in four, as he hasn't scored so far this tournament he is due one and is 14/1 to score first or 3/1 anytime.

Honourable mention also goes to the Uruguay's front men, Forlan and Suarez, who have four and three goals respectively. Instead of going for the usual first goalscorer bet on these two, I would bet on the coupled first goalscorers. You can get 9/2 on either of them opening the scoring.

Germany have 13 goals in the World Cup so far and are the highest scoring team. Considering they have hit three goals in their last four third-place play-offs I can see goals in this match too.

I will personally be backing the Germany 3-1 scoreline (11/1) but also backing the over 2.5 goals market (4/6) and over 3.5 goals (2/1) to cover my bets. Germany -1 goal also looks pretty tempting at 2/1.

Whatever the result, I just hope for a fitting match to both sides who have had impressive tournaments.



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