Messi positioning will prove key in the final
The onus will fall on Head Coach Sabella to find a way to free Messi against Germany on Sunday. It should prove a simpler task than the one he faced on Wednesday. Netherlands devoted much of its energy to ensuring Messi did not exert his influence on the match or muster the moment of brilliance required to win it. Germany will certainly play him close attention, but Jogi Löw and his players will not construct their entire game plan to prevent him from scurrying about menacingly.
Messi must figure out away to extricate himself from the midfield three of Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger. His best bet involves drifting over to the right flank to attract the attention of Benedikt Höwedes – much improved from his early outings in this tournament, but still the weak link at the back – and try to create opportunities to run at the defense.
This final will provide Argentina with more chances to break on the counter and perhaps more openings for Messi to exploit. It must use them wisely to cope with the German threat and secure a first title since 1986.