World Cup final focus: Germany

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Besides tucking their shorts into their waistbands during training (see photo), what will Germany have to do to take down Argentina in the World Cup final? And how did they get here?

Let’s put Germany under the lens of our magical, imagined microscope.

Road to Rio
June 16, Group G vs. Portugal, W 4-0
June 21, Group G vs. Ghana, D 2-2
June 26, Group G vs. United States, W 1-0
June 30, Round of 16 vs. Algeria, W 2-1
July 4, Quarterfinals vs. France, W 1-0
July 8, Semifinals vs. Brazil, W 7-1

Form: Seven goals in a semi against the host nation? I’d say form’s pretty good.

Stats
Possession: 59.4%
Pass accuracy: 86.4%
Shots: 89
Shots on target: 43
Goals from open play: 14
Goals from set pieces: 3

Leaders
Goals: Thomas Mueller (5), Andre Schurrle (3)
Assists: Toni Kroos (4), Mueller (3)
Tackles: Benedikt Hoewedes (16), Philipp Lahm (13)
Recovered balls:Hoewedes (4o), Jerome Boateng (39)
Distance covered: Mueller (68.8 km), Kroos (68.3 km)

History
Tournaments: 18/20
Finals appearances: 7 (this is the eighth)
Record: 3-4

Outline to victory: If the Germans are to raise their finals record back to .500, they’ll need the clinical finishing boots they wore against Brazil and Portugal. They’ll also, obviously, need to keep a handle on Lionel Messi. Look for Germany to push the pace on the right side of the pitch, and don’t enter a viewing of this match without understanding that tactical wizard Joachim Low could do something entirely unseen from his teams thusfar. What is that? If I knew, perhaps I’d have a job managing one of the most complete teams in the world.