Germany vs. Argentina: Last-Minute Live Stream and Preview for 2014 World Cup

Danny CollinsFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 12:  Lionel Messi of Argentina warms up during the Argentina training session, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, at Estadio Sao Januario on July 12, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It's the match you've all been waiting for. After 63 matches and 170 goals, it comes down to this clash between two footballing heavyweights in Germany and Argentina at that most iconic of stadia: the Maracana. 

Excited as we are? We thought so, so make sure you don't miss a moment of the action.

Date: Sunday 13 July

Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET

Live Stream: BBC Sport website (U.K.), WatchESPN (U.S.)

TV Info: BBC One (U.K.), ABC (U.S.)

These two old foes have history. Back in 1986, it was Argentina who triumphed over West Germany in a 3-2 victory in Mexico. Four years later, the Germans gained their revenge as they edged to a 1-0 victory over La Albiceleste in Italy.

This will be their third World Cup final clash with their last encounter coming in South Africa four years ago when Joachim Low's side swept to a crushing 4-0 victory. And despite their astonishing 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil, Low will face a stiffer challenge against the second half of South America's duopoly.

As in 1986 when Germany shackled Diego Maradona for the majority of the game, Messi will come in for special attention from Bastian Schweinsteiger. Despite the intense scrutiny from Lothar Matthaus in 1986, Mardona was able to summon a moment of magic as his pass unlocked Germany's defence to set Jorge Burruchaga through to win the game for Argentina.

FILE PHOTO - EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES - Image Numbers 451872530 (L) and 450989646) In this composite image a comparison has been made between Lionel Messi of Argentina and Thomas Mueller of Germany. Germany and Argentina play each other in th
Getty Images/Getty Images

Tonight, a similar moment of magic from Messi will be the prerequisite for an Argentine triumph. It has not been a vintage World Cup for the man from Rosario, but he has illuminated an at times ordinary Argentina side with moments of brilliance against Iran, Nigeria and Belgium. 

If he can lead his side to victory tonight, he will justifiably join Pele and Maradona as the greatest players of all time. 

Messi is likely to be joined in attack by Sergio Aguero, who has recovered from a thigh injury. A similar injury for the so-far unspectacular Angel Di Maria means the Real Madrid man will not start. Neither will one of Ezequiel Lavezzi or Gonzalo Higuain, replaced by Aguero. 

Germany welcome back the magnificent Mats Hummels, who has been struggling with tendonitis. His presence in the German defence will be key to their chances of shackling Messi et al. 

Whatever the result tonight, history will be made. A German victory would see their first World Cup triumph as a united nation, while an Argentine win would see Messi cement his place alongside Pele, Garrincha, Zidane and Maradona in World Cup history. 

And he will be cheered on by thousands of Argentines, as Henry Winter tweeted:

Similarly, a goal for Thomas Mueller would see him equal James Rodriguez's tally of six goals for the tournament. In doing so, he would become the first man to win back-to-back golden boots after his five goals in South Africa four years ago. 

Kenny Dalglish, writing in The Mirror, believes tonight will be a closely fought affair:

After the way they beat Brazil, people are talking about the final as if Joachim Low and his team only need to turn up in Rio in order to lift the trophy.

Well, Argentina will not fold tomorrow like Brazil did on Tuesday. They will fight for everything and they have Messi.

As I said at the top, Germany are favourites and I think they will probably win, but forget the idea that it’s going to be easy.

However, Germany are not a one-man team, and the brilliance of Toni Kroos, Andre Schurrle and Mario Goetze can also lead their team to victory tonight. 

By contrast, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria have scored only one goal each and failed to justify the hype that surrounded Argentina's attacking options heading into this tournament. One, if not both, face the threat of missing out on a starting place tonight. 

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

The same cannot be said of Javier Mascherano, who was magnificent in Argentina's defeat of the Netherlands. James Orr of The Independent reported on the match-saving tackle that exemplified a fine performance from the Barcelona man.

It's pertinent to remember after such a showing that Mascherano once struggled to get into West Ham's starting line-up ahead of Nigel Quashie, as reported by The Guardian's Jon Brodkin. He is the artisan to Messi's artist, and tonight the Argentines will need both at full throttle if they are to triumph. 

Integral for the Germans will be Manuel Neuer, their sweeper-cum-keeper who has established himself as the World's finest keeper at this championship. Tonight he will be tested by Messi, and his preparedness for that inevitable showdown will decide who triumphs at the Maracana.