RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) – Germany and Argentina named unchanged teams for Sunday’s World Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, with midfielder Angel di Maria on the bench for Argentina.
Di Maria has not played since injuring his thigh in Argentina’s 1-0 win over Belgium in the quarter-finals, but he took part in training on Saturday.
Benfica’s Enzo Perez will deputise for Di Maria in midfield, alongside Javier Mascherano and Lucas Biglia.
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella kept faith with the same attack he used in the previous three games, with captain Lionel Messi flanked by Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
German counterpart Joachim Loew named the same team that started the 7-1 annihilation of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals.
Mats Hummels started at centre-back despite a tendinitis problem, while five-goal top scorer Thomas Mueller lined up on the right flank in support of lone striker Miroslav Klose.
Two-time champions Argentina are appearing in their first final since 1990, when they lost 1-0 to West Germany. Three-time winners Germany last reached the final in 2002, going down 2-0 to Brazil.
Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm (capt), Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Hoewedes; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira; Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil; Miroslav Klose
Coach: Joachim Loew (GER)
Sergio Romero; Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Ezequiel Garay, Marcos Rojo; Lucas Biglia, Javier Mascherano, Enzo Perez; Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi (capt), Ezequiel Lavezzi
Coach: Alejandro Sabella (ARG)
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)