By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Despite all the questions about opponents Argentina's tactics for Sunday's World Cup final, one vital is bothering favorites Germany far more. Will they be able to press the re-set button and be in the right frame of mind to win their fourth World Cup trophy?
So many things speak for Germany to win their third final against Argentina after 1986 (2-3) and 1990 (1-0). Playing a World Cup final is however still a journey into the unknown. To become fully concentrated again, Germany have shut themselves away from everybody. No public training, no interviews, no visits from the players' families - German coach Joachim Loew has done everything to make his players focus on the task at hand of winning the World Cup final. The message behind Loew's preparations: Just remember we haven't won anything yet.
One would think a World Cup final is something that inspires players to be mentally and physically ready at the turn of a switch. But looking at their campaign so far it might be Germany's biggest problem. Having beaten the World Cup hosts Brazil 7-1 in semifinal, for many a win for Germany is a foregone conclusion even before the start of the tournament's final.
As previously mentioned, many facts speak for Germany. A young determined squad that knows how to deal with finals as the Bayern Munich players in the German team are "veterans" of three Champions League finals - and Borussia Dortmund's of one. Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer also all won the European U-21 Championship together in 2009 which means they know each other like life-long friends.
Up to now the Germans have always found an answer for the conundrums posed in their previous six matches. They can count on widespread support from many Brazilians as the German team is the most popular one now that the hosts have been eliminated. On top of everything neighbors Argentina is Brazil's biggest rival in football. But after all, German coach Loew knows they will need all the power available to beat a world class team like Argentina that hasn't quite produced the kind of football one would expect from players of the caliber of Messi and co.
It will be a challenging task to get through Argentina's defense as they have only conceded three goals to date. Germany's players have to be prepared for a tight match, maybe the toughest at the 2014 World Cup. "We might need a dead ball situation to win. We should keep that in mind and stay patient," said German top-scorer Thomas Mueller.
A decisive task will be to stop Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi. Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger will have their work cut out. And it is very likely that Loew will keep his successful starting eleven that has been used since the quarterfinal against France.
Meaning captain Philipp Lahm will start at right back next to Hummels and Boateng with Benedikt Hoewedes on the left. Schweinsteiger and Khedira will play in front of the defense keeping a close eye on Messi. Toni Kroos, who is very likely join Real Madrid after the World Cup, may well be the attacking midfielder next to Thomas Mueller and Oezil on the flanks with Miroslav Klose as the spearhead.
Loew will keep his thoughts a closely guarded secret right up to the final. In his statements, he appears cool and relaxed, despite the pictures going around the world showing him as a lonely early morning jogger along a Brazilian beach. The 2014 World Cup might be his last game as German coach. Despite doubts about his own future, Loew is seeking to go down in German football history as a championship-winning coach. The only thing that he seems to have to do is press the re-set button in his player's heads and reminds them that they have to start from scratch again in the final if they are to end up as winners.