World Cup Previews: Germany and Spain Compete For the Final

06 July 2010

Spain's Andres Iniesta dribbles a ball during their team training session in Durban, South Africa. (Credit Image: © epa/ZUMApress.com)
The Semi-Finals conclude on Wednesday with a rematch of the Euro 2008 finals as Germany and Spain square off in Durban. The winner plays Holland in the final, the loser gets Uruguay on Saturday.

Jeff got his pick correct on Tuesday, his record is now 29 wins, 20 losses, and 8 no results. Johnathan’s result on Tuesday was a no result, seeing his record now move to 24 wins, 26 losses, and 7 no results.

Note: If we're using the handicap line, we will include what the spread is. If it spread is 0, a draw will mean no result. If we use the Over/Under line, just add the total number of goals scored in a match. Please note that this will all be based on the scoreline at Full Time (90 minutes). For betting purposes, only the result after 90 minutes are counted. Our odds are courtesy of Centsports.

2:30 pm on ESPN: Germany v Spain
Johnathan Starling
: These two teams have taken two totally different routes to the semi-finals. Germany have impressed the most, while Spain have struggled to a point in getting here. Germany do have a major loss with the suspension of Thomas Mueller, but they do have replacements in Toni Kroos. Even Cacau could be slotted into that role. With regards to Spain, Cesc will probably play, even with his leg and shoulder bothering him. Carlos Puyol is cleared to return, which is a big help to their defense.
I hate to say it this bluntly, but if Germany can get to David Villa, they can get to Spain. Fernando Torres is not fit. Their entire strike force has been abysmal in this World Cup. The truth is though, Spain’s defense has carried this team. However, they have been broken down. Germany, on the other hand, have been the complete package. Yes, Mueller’s loss is a big one, but they have played the total team game. While I do think this game will be close, and possibly see extra time, there is only one winner in my mind. My prediction is Germany on the 0 line at -110.
Jeff Hash:  I have to be honest: I don't have a real clue how to settle this game in my mind.  If we base it on overall world cup performances, it should go to Germany.  They have been rampant in putting the ball into the net.  But just two years ago, these two met in the European Championships final, with Spain coming out victorious.  Its a bit dangerous to use past performances in a situation like this, but given the enormity of both games, it seems to hint that Spain is capable.  Spain has been hurting for goals as been said, but there is just enough there to cause a surprise at any moment.  Germany's defense, though, has certainly not let their attackers down.  The more I think about this game, the more I only feel good about one thought: the defense rising to the moment.  Only one team may have good striking, but both teams are good defenders.  My best bet, then, is to take the under 2.5 goals at -150.  I wish I could say something better than that, but tomorrow's game is truly as much of a coin flip as one can hope for this late in a tournament.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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