B/R Experts' World Cup Final Predictions: Will Lionel Messi Inspire Argentina?

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJuly 13, 2014

B/R Experts' World Cup Final Predictions: Will Lionel Messi Inspire Argentina?

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    Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

    Bleacher Report's experts were keen not to rest on the laurels of their efforts of last season, so they will go into battle for the whole of the World Cup.

    Each game will feature a score prediction, combined with a Man of the Match selection (based on FIFA's official decision).

    The predictions for the final between Argentina and Germany are in the following slide, and you will be able to chart the writers' success—or lack thereof—for the tournament on our final scoreboard after the match finishes.

    Post your own picks on Twitter and include @br_uk. Anyone who gets all scorelines and the Man of the Match awards correct will receive a Bleacher Report goody bag.

Germany vs. Argentina

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    Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

    Karl Matchett: Germany 2-1 Argentina

    If Germany maintain their approach and don't sit off too much and over-respect Argentina like the Netherlands did, they have the movement and technical ability in the final third to really take the final to their opponents. If they choose to maintain shape and not commit numbers forward, though, we could have a bit of a cagey, dull final. If Germany score first, it opens the match up tremendously. Coming off a massive high, I'll back them to win after their destruction of Brazil.

    Man of the Match: Thomas Mueller

    A big performance from Mueller in the final will likely see him as the World Cup's best player.

    Will Tidey: Germany 1-1 Argentina (Argentina win on penalties)

    It's going to be tight and tense. Germany are not about to romp past Argentina in the manner they did Brazil. This goes to penalties, and Argentina take it.

    Man of the Match: Sergio Romero

    I fancy Romero to keep the Germans largely at bay during normal time and extra time, then play hero in the shootout.

    Sam Tighe: Germany 2-1 Argentina

    Momentum is key, and Germany have it. Die Mannschaft to win by a narrow scoreline.

    Man of the Match: Toni Kroos

    It will be Kroos who makes the difference with his clever positioning and goalscoring opportunism.

    Michael Cummings: Germany 2-1 Argentina

    I've been backing Argentina throughout the tournament, saying Lionel Messi's star power will guide La Albiceleste to glory. Obviously, that could still happen, but I'm backing the efficient German machine to get the job done one more time. After all, it couldn't lose after doing that to Brazil...right?

    Man of the Match: Manuel Neuer

    You know Messi will create a chance or two through his individual brilliance, no matter how well the Germans play. Neuer has been outstanding throughout the tournament, and he'll probably be needed once again.

    Alex Dimond: Germany 0-1 Argentina

    After the way they tore Brazil apart, Germany will go into this game as marginal favourites. If Argentina are to win, it seems likely it will be the same way they have gotten through the knockout stages—relying on a staunch defence and then one moment of attacking quality (or a penalty shootout) to progress. The United States and Algeria were among those who showed it is possible to limit Germany. If Argentina can keep a clean sheet, they have the attacking players to steal a goal at the other end.

    Man of the Match: Lionel Messi

    Let's go for the Hollywood ending. Messi gets the winning goal and walks away with the trophy and the Man of the Match award.

Final Standings

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    B/R Expert Picks

    (One point for correct result, three points for correct scoreline, two points for correct Man of the Match.)

    Sam Tighe91
    Michael Cummings83
    Will Tidey80
    Karl Matchett69
    Alex Dimond63