Frankly, I'm not so sure. Do we try to beat them at their own game? Or do we try to play our way?
What do I mean?
Simple. Do we play with wide midfielders (Maxi, Jonas or DI MARIA for example) to run their dangerous offensive midfielders down the flanks and try to beat them at their game? With pace and power?
Or do we play possession midfielders (VERON, BOLATTI, PASTORE plus MASCHERANO)?
Both ways could work. Both could fail.
I heard Jonas could be playing instead of DI MARIA and the rest of the team would be unchanged from our starting XI v. Mexico.
I see then Maxi on the right (chasing Lukas PODOLSKI and helping Nicolás OTAMENDI) and Jonas on the left (going after Mesut ÖZIL and giving Gabriel HEINZE a hand). Thomas MULLER plays more of a free role and roams around the entire 3/4 when they attack, so I'm thinking MASCHERANO could be minding his runs.
That formation and lineup would probably keep us covered at the back. I use the word 'probably' because with the talent Germany have (especially up front) you are never sure of cover for all of their weapons. They could be thinking the same, of course.
That's the other matter. How will we attack them? MESSI, TEVEZ and HIGUAIN should all start, but if we really are playing with Maxi and Jonas together with MASCHERANO in midfield, my fear is: who would provide our three forwards with the ball?
That's why I'm also thinking of the other option (not that MARADONA has it in mind -as far as I know-). What if we forget about what Germany do and concentrate on keeping the ball a la Spain and attack them instead?
I know we won't get to the same level of beautiful passing game Spain have shown since even before they won the Euro 2008. But we could try to frustrate Germany by denying them of the chance to enjoy a lot of possession.
I would be playing a fast RB like Clemente RODRIGUEZ instead of OTAMENDI (though I don't have a problem with the way Nicolás is playing, I would incline on using Clement because of his speed) and sticking with Gabriel HEINZE on the left (no, I'm not a fan of him overnight, but I have to give him credit for playing a very solid World Cup so far and I need my LB to defend exclusively if I'm going to use a midfield with more possession and attacking mentality).
My two CB, by the way, would be Nicolás BURDISSO and Walter SAMUEL. I'm not trusting Martín DEMICHELIS so far. I'm sorry.
In front of them, I would go with a combo of holding midfielders with MASCHERANO and Mario BOLATTI. Both could turn into defensive mode if we lose the ball and both could link up well with passing the ball around (especially BOLATTI). A little bit forward and just behind MESSI and TEVEZ, I'd use Javier PASTORE.
He would create mis-matches all over the pitch for Germany. Playing together with MESSI and knowing that TEVEZ could drop back a little bit every now and then, our rivals wouldn't know who to mark and where to mark him. Yes, we could risk being a little exposed on the flanks, but if Germany attack us from the wings, BOLATTI and MASCHERANO could give some support to whoever needs it. Just the thought of thinking of the creative mind of PASTORE linking up with MESSI and both benefiting from TEVEZ's X-factor and HIGUAIN's movement, makes me dream of great things.
That's why I keep asking myself. Do we play them at their game? Or do we play our traditional style?
I don't know. I keep playing this game over and over in my head. It's killing me.
How is this match developing in your brain and in your heart?
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