Tonight (or this afternoon, I guess), Germany will beat Spain by a score of two goals to one. That is my prediction, and here is my reasoning (in short form, as I am writing this on my lunch break before an afternoon of working while watching a match on ESPN3).
The reasoning is simple, the Germans are a younger, and stronger, attacking side than the Spanish. Yes, I know that Germany lacks Mueller, which will significantly impact their attacking prowess, but the point is that Germany scored four against England and four against Argentina. I think they can, and will score two against Spain.
In addition, Spain lacks firepower outside of the fantastic David Villa. Unless Torres (who is not starting tonight) improves, or someone else steps up, I just do not see Spain putting in two goals against the strong and organized German defense. Look what happened when they played the Swiss (another strong defensive side). People talk about form, but unless David Villa can have another inspired and, to be honest, legendary performance, I think the Germans will advance. Unless a strange goal happens (which would not surprise me), I do not see the Spanish breaking down the German defense twice, and I think the Germans have enough firepower to outscore the Spanish.
I think this will be a good old-fashioned shootout, and one that the Germans will do just enough to win. This will not be a repeat of the 2008 Euro final, this is a much improved German side and a far weaker Spanish side. The Spanish have a very difficult task ahead of them. Their youth and energy will prove vital, especially if this tight match goes a whole 90 minutes. If they don’t, and it is a tie, well, you know what will happen if this match goes to penalties.
There is an old saying I will leave you with. Football is a sport where 22 men chase a ball around a pitch, and in the end the Germans always win. Germany 2, Spain 1: you heard it here first.
Sean McElroy is a contributing writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.