One game to rule them all, and it goes down Sunday afternoon on ABC. We here at B&RU didn't want to wait another day to share our predictions for the World Cup final, though, so use part of your Friday afternoon time-killing with us as we try to prognosticate our way through Germany-Argentina.
Once you read our predictions, be sure to share yours down in the comments.
ChestRockwell - @chestrockwell14
It's got to be Germany, right? Argentina's path to the final has featured two extra time games as well as a match in which they had to protect a 1-0 lead for 82 minutes. Angel Di Maria is injured, and the rest of Argentina's squad fails to do enough to give teams a second thought about focusing on Messi.
So naturally Messi will score a brilliant goal early, and the Germans will find that Argentina has been paying attention. Rather than playing suicidal soccer like Brazil or basically not bothering to even try like France, the Argentines will try to match the USMNT and Algeria's defense-first showing. Nonetheless, I see Germany finally breaking through late-ish - let's say Mario Gotze gets the goal off the bench - and winning it all on a Thomas Muller goal in extra time.
Ryan Bacic - @RyanBacic
Argentina's been a one-man show this tournament, and not a very good one at that. I think Germany controls this one for 90 minutes in a comfortable 2-0 win.
Ben Bromley - @BRUBromley
Can anyone stop the Germans? I don't think so, not even when you have Messi. I think that they will win 2-1 in a surprisingly tight match and raise their first World Cup trophy since reunification.
stephen.whiting - @swhitingDCU
What a terrific final! The machine which is Germany (firing on all cylinders) against the individual brilliance of Messi (and the Argentinians' surprising defensive organization). Either storyline is compelling, but I see the Germans breaking more CONMEBOL hearts and gutting out a 2-1 win against Argentina. And, dare I say it, this match will be the transition point to see the rise of a new German dynasty in the World Cup. Watch out Brazil, but Germany could be about to put together a string of titles to rival or surpass your 5 stars above your crest.
blazindw - @blazindw
This is it, the brawl for it all. Germany and Argentina square off in rematches of the 1986 and 1990 finals, which the teams split. I think this is a low scoring affair, despite Germany's #beatemdown of Brazil in the semis. In the end, though I think Germany is the better team, I think the real destiny is watching Argentina getting crowned World Cup champions in Brazil's house. 2-1 to Argentina, and Messi lifts his first World Cup trophy and Argentina's 3rd.
Ryan Keefer - @reefa_k
If you think that it is easy to predict the Germans will win after seeing Argentina get knocked around for 120 minutes and one day less rest than the Germans...you would be right, and that's the way I'm going. 3-1 to Ze Germans, with Muller scoring two goals and taking the Golden Boot in the process.
Adam M Taylor - @the_amt
Unfortunately for neutrals and partisans alike, Sunday's final will more closely resemble the second semifinal - that cagey, scoreless affair between Argentina and the Netherlands that went to overtime - than Germany's romp over Brazil in the first semifinal. That said, I think we'll have a winner in regulation, and it will be Argentina. Germany have been imperious (to say the least) since moving Philipp Lahm from central midfield to his preferred spot at right fullback, but Lionel Messi and la Albiceleste somehow seem destined to join Brazil, Italy and (West) Germany in the Three-Timers' Club. Look for Messi to set up Sergio Aguero for a second-half gamewinner.
Looks like our panel is giving Germany the edge, with a split decision. How do you see things playing out in Rio?