RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- If you're taking Argentina to lift the World Cup trophy Sunday in Rio, you haven't been watching.Follow @SlamSports
You must not remember watching the Germans embarrass Portugal in a match that was supposed to highlight the Group of Death.
You must have selective memory if you don't recall the Germans doing whatever they pleased in a win over the United States a few weeks back.
Not to pile it on, but the Germans showed immense poise in topping Algeria and France before robbing the Brazilians of their dignity earlier this week.
Having watched that semifinal beatdown in Belo Horizonte, it wouldn't make sense for odds-makers not to make the Europeans sizable favourites this weekend at the Maracana Stadium.
There's a saying, though: That's why they play the games.
Of course, there's no doubt the Argentines possess individuals who are capable of unlocking the German defence -- something nobody's been able to do consistently for a few years now.
Positionally, not many teams stack up against Germany in this tournament, but the South Americans do have a few advantages to look forward to.
Here's how I see this one playing out position-by-position:
Nothing against Argentina's Sergio Romero, but he can't hold Manuel Neuer's gloves.
The German man mountain looks like a tight end. Had he been born somewhere in North America, he'd likely follow in Rob Gronkowski's footsteps.
He hasn't been called on often in this tournament, but he's made at least one or two fantastic stops in each of his outings, including three world-class saves midway through Brazil-Germany.
He grabs everything lofted into the box and he's probably the best goalkeeper off his line in the world. His anticipation of balls played in behind his back four is fantastic.
Furthermore, he has big-game experience, having won a UEFA Champions League title with Bayern Munich. There's not much else to say, other than Neuer is in a class of his own.
At the opposite end, Romero is a bit of an unknown.
But he'll have a slight advantage if this World Cup final goes to penalties. Seeing as Romero has already made two big saves in a shootout win over the Netherlands, my money is on the Argentine coming through if this thing is decided from the spot.
Do I think it will be? No.
As long as Pablo Zabaleta's head checks out, Argentina has one of the two best fullbacks playing in this game. Zabaleta took a nasty second-half hit to the chin from Dutch winger Dirk Kuyt that appeared to knock him unconscious.
He was bloodied and carried off the pitch during that semifinal before returning and seeing out the game. Chief of concern for the Manchester City fullback and Marcos Rojos will be learning from what the Germans did to Brazil a few days back.
If Zabaleta gets caught forward, the Germans have shown they can counter the other way with ruthless success.
It becomes critical that the Argentines don't lose possession in bad areas so their Zabaleta, who normally holds down the entire right side, doesn't get caught out.
Look for the German defence to feel this thing out before committing numbers forward.
Right fullback Philipp Lahm isn't flying forward as much as he used to and will look to help contain Argentina's attacking threats before overlapping Thomas Mueller.
On the other side, of the German defence, there hasn't been any reason for Benedikt Höwedes to do anything but defend.
With the Germans doing just fine while attacking with four and five guys, look for Howedes to keep his defensive shape unless the Germans need a goal late.
There might not be a better centre back pairing in this tournament than Germany's Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.
Both have grown with the competition. They understand their roles. While they're ball-winning defenders, they simplify things in possession and rarely make costly mistakes.
Inside their own area, anything in the air is claimed. Hummels has also shown an ability to help his team score goals. He has netted twice off restarts in what has been a Best XI showing at this World Cup.
On the other hand, unless you count Brazil's Fred, the Germans haven't really been tested by a true No. 9 yet.
With Argentina's Gonzalo Higuaín looking to unsettle Germany's back four, Hummels and Boateng will need to be near-perfect again if they're to keep a clean sheet.
Having played in Germany for many years, Argentina centre back Martín Demichelis might be best suited to handle German attackers like Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil.
He and partner Ezequiel Garay will need to be aware of Mueller at all times. Mueller is always looking to latch onto balls fed into the channels.
He'll be looking to exploit the space between the fullbacks and centre backs at every opportunity.
If anything, Argentina's back four, marshaled by Demichelis and Garay, must understand that a lack of shape is what will hurt them the most.
Argentina's Javier Mascherano will need to have another massive game if the South Americans are to have a chance in this one.
Mascherano will be saddled with holding fort in front of Argentina's back four and marking out the Toni Kroos' late runs at the top of the area -- something Brazil failed to do on multiple occasions.
The more ground Mascherano is able to cover, the more room Lucas Biglia and Enzo Pérez will feel comfortable playing off Messi in the attack.
For the Germans, it's about Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira playing both sides of the ball.
If the German midfield somehow gets stretched, it will open up all kinds of space for the Argentines.
It becomes crucial if one of the two German midfielders goes forward, the other stays.
After watching this tandem against Brazil, though, there's no way they will allow any of Argentina's midfielders to find its desired time and space.
It's why German manager Joachim Low felt comfortable moving Philipp Lahm out of midfield and back to his preferred fullback slot mid-tournament.
The German midfielders have been masterful in knowing when to get forward and when to stay strong in from of their back four.
Look for that to continue with the wealth of attackers in Argentina's middle third.
It's unfortunate Argentina's Angel di Maria went down injured or this one might have swung in favour of the South Americans.
It's Messi, and everyone else.
Although Thomas Mueller has been the player of the tournament, as far as I'm concerned.
There's real concern here for the Germans, who don't have a Mascherano-type of destroyer in their team.
As a result, who man-marks Messi when he drifts into the space in front of Germany's defence?
The good news for Germany is we haven't yet seen Messi at his best. The bad news for Germany is we haven't yet seen Messi at his best.
We didn't get to see Germany defend Neymar, but expect German manager Joachim Low to devise some kind of defensive scheme for marking out the best player in the world.
Argentina's other "world-class" players -- Gonzalo Higuaín and Sergio Aguero -- are still trying to find their form and will only be a concern to Germany if Messi brings them into the game.
Depending on how Germany lines up, we could see Miroslav Klose once again at the point of Low's 4-5-1, with Thomas Mueller playing off of him out wide.
That tandem worked to perfection against the Brazilians, who didn't have an answer. However, other than that, Mesut Ozil hasn't been lighting it up so if Argentina can find a way to tame Mueller's runs it might be alright.
The key for Argentina will be forcing the Germans to come out of their defensive/counter-attacking shell in order to open things up the other way for its strikers.
Argentina's Alejandro Sabella doesn't seem to have the South Americans firing on all cylinders.
Without a few special moments from Messi, where would Argentina be in this thing?
On the opposite bench, German boss Joachim Low hasn't gotten much wrong this tournament, guiding his team to multiple comprehensive wins.
The Germans seem to be on the same page. They know how they want to play in certain situations all over the field -- something instilled on the training ground.
Can the same be said for Argentina, or is Sabella just relying on individuals?