The World Cup final rerun that nobody asked for, but everyone surely wants to see, takes place in Dusseldorf when triumphant Germany host unlucky losers Argentina live on BT Sport.
New Albiceleste coach Gerardo Martino has raised many an eyebrow by naming practically the same squad that predecessor Alejandro Sabella took to Brazil, with Spurs’ Erik Lamela and Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan receiving call-ups.
Only Lionel Messi, Rodrigo Palacio, Maxi Rodriguez and Ezequiel Garay are missing from the Argentina outfield 20 that made it to Brazil, which goes some way to explain why our best bet for this fixture is…
Argentina to beat Germany @ 13/5
Martino’s side will be out to gain some modicum of revenge after their extra-time defeat in Rio de Janeiro seven weeks ago, while it’s difficult to imagine a reason why Die Mannschaft would take this fixture seriously, other than to give the faithful something to shout about.
Will that be enough for a depleted Germany outfit, shorn of retirees Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose, as well as influential midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger through injury?
We think not, but Joachim Low’s charges have only failed to score over the duration of a fixture once in their last 23 attempts, and have a man on fire within their ranks.
Andre Schurrle to score at any time @ 9/4
The 23-year-old struck home his 14th, 15th and 16th international goals during the World Cup, and has already opened his Chelsea Premier League account for the campaign, having got on the end of Cesc Fabregas’ awesome pass away to Burnley on the opening day.
Schurrle’s per-90-minutes goal record in his first top-flight term last year was pretty sharp, with a strike notched every 0.54 games on average according to this metric (stat courtesy of Squawka.com).
For those in search of samba symmetry, World Cup final-winning goalscorer Mario Gotze is available at 9/5 in the same market, although the FC Bayern man’s extra-time effort in Rio would not have landed such a punt.
Under 2.5 yellow cards @ 23/20
In the white-hot cauldron of the Maracana only three players picked up cautions and one of them (Schweinsteiger) definitely won’t feature in this rematch.
Germany v Argentina Mark II is somewhat unlikely to be a needle-filled contest, given the fixture’s friendly status so soon after the start of 2014/15 proceedings, so get behind a placid encounter at odds-against.