After the elation of crushing England and Argentina, Germany crashed back down to earth with its semi-final elimination by Spain. But here are the three reasons Germany will pick itself up, and win Saturday’s World Cup match:
1. With a young squad and perhaps the tournament’s fittest, Germany will have no problem in finding hungry players for the tilt at bronze. German efficiency and professionalism will demand nothing less. After all, the Germans have played in this tie four times previously and won three, only losing to France in 1958. Among their previous victims? Uruguay in 1970, beaten 1-0 by the old West Germany. Such is Germany’s incredible record in the tournament, it is difficult to envisage them losing two games in a row.
2. Miroslave Klose hopes to be fit for Saturday’s game but expect him and the German set-up to do everything possible to get him on the pitch. The unassuming striker is just one goal away from equaling Brazil’s Ronaldo as the all-time top scorer at World Cups and at 32 he knows the Uruguay game will likely be his last chance to add to his 14 World Cup goals. Ten of the 18 third-place play-offs have included the tournament’s eventual top scorer and even a half fit Klose will fancy nicking one in a game that averages almost four goals.
3. Diego Forlán is Uruguay’s key man and it was his goals and intelligent link-up when dropping deep that propelled Uruguay to a first semi-final in four decades. But the striker admitted fatigue caught up with him during the Dutch game. I suspect that given how physically demanding this World Cup has been, the adrenalin boost that comes from a fairytale tilt at soccer's biggest prize will have run dry.
Don't buy the argument? Read Three reasons why Uruguay will beat Germany.