Down to the Big One's !!
# Deutschland :
Key Players :
Michael ballack , Klose-Podolski pair, Philip Lahm , Frings, Klismann (their young enthusiastic Manager)
Home nation, Efficient well organised stable attack, front two (Klose-Podolski in great form), All players fully fit and in form, Have tightened up their defence after intial hiccups, They have the status of the underdogs(so nothing to lose), Young team, Hungry for sucess, Klinsmann has given their nation a new hope and belief !
Their only weakness so far (unless the Argetines expose some other) has been their young un-experienced defence , but the Germans know their weakness as well as their strenths so u expect them to work on that !!
# República Argentina :
Key Players :
Juan Requilme, Maxi Rodriguez, Hernan Crespo, Lionel Messi, Roberto Ayala
has to be their Attack, they are playing the beautiful game the beautiful way, they have the right mixture of experience and youth
There are doubts still that will their style pf play work against good old european defensive set-up (they have struggled to score in their last 2 matches), thier defence isnt fool-proof.
# Well it doesnt get bigger than this, by far the biggest game of the WC yet , many fans are considering it to be the final itself. Two teams with rich WC history and tradition , 5 titles between them meet in the 72000 seater Berlin Stadium. The only disappontment bieng, its just a quarterfinal, but what the hell , its still special.
Its a repeat of the 1986 and 1990 world cup finals (Argentina and Germany won them respecively.) and there was nothing to choose between them at that time and the situation hasnt changed much today too. Though the Germans will go into this game as Underdogs but they have a tradition of doin well against the run of play , against the expectations , surprising everyone.
Both teams have brilliant attacks ; though differnt styles of play altogether, both defences are young and unexperienced , though Argentina hold the advantage here with the ageing veteran Ayala in their army. It could very well turn out to be a game of midfield battle (Ballack&Frings Vs. Riquilme&Co.)
Also Germany have had a easier run , havent really been tested as yet while Argentina had to swet it out against Ivory Coast,Holland and Mexico on their way.
So lets wait and watch as the two giants battle it out to get into the last four of what has been a really exciting world cup so far !!
# Italia :
Key Players :
Buffon, Nesta, Cannavaro, Pirlo, Totti
The good old italian defence is as strong as ever with Cannavaro-Nesta central defence bieng rock solid and Materazzi filling in for injured Nesta once in a while. Midfield is strong with Gattuso , Cameronesi doing the holding job and Pirlo providing the creativity.
The forward line is a bit weak so could find it tough to score goals sometimes. Del Piero and Inzaghi have the expirience but are too old to run around for 90 minutes while Toni and Gilardino have the energy but lack the experince and temperament.
# Ukrayina :
Key players :
Andriy Shevchenko, Andriy Vorobyey
good attack, status of underdogs, and also the tradition of one surprise semi-finalist supports them.
Big holes in the defense.
# Italy go into this match as hot favourites and Ukraine have nothing to lose , their world cup campaign bieng already a success having reached the quarterfinals in their first world cup appearance ever. Ukraine will go all out and give their everything , their star strikers against the reliable italian back four(they havent conceded a goal except that blunder own goal against US in the group stage.) but Italy would like to kill this game off early rather than leaving it to the 90th minute(like against Aussies). Lets hope Marcello Lippi doesnt take up the defend-and-counter-attack approach again and we get to see some exciting football from both sides rather than Shevchenko & Co. sweating it out against Cannacaro-Nesta and still ending on the losing side.
Prediction : Italy to win 1-0.