War of words takes to the field
Cape Town will play host to a replay of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals as old foes Argentina and Germany do battle in the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.
Maradona's Argentina have made a mockery of their wretched qualification campaign by taking the World Cup by storm. They eased through their group with maximum points from their three games and weren't caused any discomfort in dispatching Mexico in the second round.
Despite Mexico starting the brighter and playing well it was La Albiceleste that took the lead through Carlos Tevez's blatantly offside header. Higuain added a quickfire second after a dreadful mistake from Ricardo Osario and Tevez sealed the win with a powerful and spectacular shot from outside the box.
Argentina have won all nine of their matches in this calendar year, an amazing stat considering the lack of faith many football and Argentina fans had in Diego Maradona as national coach. However, his hands-on man management approach seems to be getting the best out of an already World class squad. With every high five, backside slap and kiss on the cheek the boys on Buenos Aires are moving closer to a third World Cup trophy.
Germany. What can I write (as an Englishman) about the Germans that hasn't been thoroughly discussed by every so called football expert since they pulverized England in Bloemfontein?
Well, all I can say is, they were awesome. Joachim Loew's youthful side were too sharp, too energetic and too intelligent for their English rivals. With Arne Friedrich and Per Mertesacker forging a great partnership at the back it has allowed the German attack to blossom. Mesut Ozil has dazzled in his creative midfield role, almost becoming a household name over night.
Die Mannschaft won their group after destroying Australia 4-0 and defeating fellow quarter-finalists Ghana 1-0. Their only blip was a 1-0 loss to Serbia in their second game, coming after having Miroslav Klose sent off in the first half. The three time World Champions were still arguably the best team for much of that match.
The team news coming out of both camps is that the starting elevens should remain unchanged from their second round games.
The bookies believe that this quarter-final could be the closest of all four matches. The Argentines are edging the betting as favourites at 11/8 while Germany can be backed at a pretty reasonable 9/4.
Victory in the 1986 World Cup final is Argentina's only previous World Cup win in five matches against Germany or West Germany. Although they did manage a 1-0 friendly win in March 2010 thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain strike.
Carlos Tevez's double against Mexico were his first goals of the tournament and he is 6/1 to open the scoring once again and 7/4 to notch anytime.
Every game so far we've highlighted an Argentina forward to open the scoring, an unknown quantity who plays in Spain by the name of Lionel Messi. So far, the World Player of the Season has yet to hit the scoresheet in any of Argentina's games but has played exceedingly well. Barcelona's brilliant attacker is 9/2 to break the deadlock in Soccer City and 6/5 to notch anytime.
Tournament joint top scorer Gonzalo Higuain is 11/2 to open the scoring and pull clear of Spain's David Villa.
Miroslav Klose of Germany is only three goals short of breaking the Brazilian Ronaldo's all time World Cup scoring record. The Bayern striker really comes to life when the finals come around and has two goals so far in South Africa. He is 7/1 to open the scoring.
Klose team mates have also been in on the goals and the likes of Lukas Podolski (15/2), Thomas Muller (10/1) and Mesut Ozil (14/1) could all breach the Argentine defence given the free flowing football that the Germans have purveyed so far.
The draw for this match is priced at 2/1 and if there is a full repeat of the 2006 quarter final then we should look at the outcome of penalties. Both teams are priced at 9/1 to triumph via a penalty shootout.
After looking at this match in depth I would really contemplate backing Germany, where I feel the value lies at 9/4.
The war of words that have come from both camps in the build up to this clash could also manifest itself onto the pitch. Keep an eye on the first five minutes on the game and if there is any needle or as anticipated ,rash challenges, get on the overs card markets using our in-play betting.