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World Cup: Germany v Ghana

 

 

 

 

Germany Screenshot 2014-05-27 12.31.46

• A couple of defensive injury concerns around Hummels and Boateng, although the latter should play. • High on confidence after an excellent opening victory over Portugal.
• Likely to keep the same attack, although Schurrle could be an option for Ozil.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

Hummels – CB – 10% Boateng – RB/CB – 90%

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Team News

Germany got off to a great start to their campaign against Portugal, winning comfortably and rarely being threatened. They are likely to keep the majority of the same team against Ghana with a couple of defensive injuries their main concern.

Mats Hummels landed awkwardly late on and had to be replaced by Mustafi who is likely to start in the centre of defence alongside Mertesacker. The other option is to move Howedes inside and start with Durm at LB. Hummels is hopeful of recovering in time for the game against the USA.

Another option is to move Boateng inside, Lahm to RB and bring in Schweinsteiger but it’s unlikely Low will want to make so many changes.

Jerome Boateng is the other slight worry as he dislocated his thumb against Portugal, but will play with a specially made brace to prevent injury and ensure he has the chance to line up against his brother Kevin Prince-Boateng.

Joachim Low’s other potential change may come higher up the pitch as Ozil struggled to get into the game as much as the other forwards and was replaced after 60 minutes by the impressive Schurrle. Low may decide to start him against Ghana.

Bench (from): Weidenfeller GK, Zieler GK, Großkreutz RB/LB/AM, Hummels CB, Durm LB, Ginter DM/CB, Kramer DM/CM, Schweinsteiger CM/DM, Schurrle AM/ST, Draxler LW/RW/AM, Podolski LW/ST, Klose ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Germany’s positive passing through midfield was key to their destruction of Portugal as Kroos pushed the team forward, trying to get the three players ahead of him onto the ball as quickly as possible. Ghana will not be as strong defensively as Portugal so Germany could again overwhelm them.
  •   Germany kept possession very well, slowing the game down when they needed to and killing any momentum Portugal had. They will look to do the same against Ghana’s pacey attack.
  •   The full backs will need to be solid against Ghana’s pace in wide areas, with Boateng and Howedes naturally CB’s this is where Germany could have problems. They dealt well with Nani and Ronaldo but may be less cautious against Ghana.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   A win could ensure that Germany qualify for the next round if there isn’t a winner in the USA vs. Portugal match.
  •   Jerome Boateng will be playing against his brother Kevin Prince-Boateng to give the game an extra edge.

 

Ghana Screenshot 2014-05-27 12.32.51

• Have no injury or suspension issues but multiple changes are likely after disappointing loss to USA.
• Appiah could look to add experience to the team, with Boateng and Essien in contention to start.
• They know they are underdogs but by the same token also realise they are as good as out with a loss.

Unavailable

None

Doubtful

None

Returning

None

Expected Team (4-2-3-1)

Team News

One of the few positives out of the disappointing opening day defeat to USA on Monday night was that Kwesi Appiah’s side picked up no injury or suspensions for their two remaining group games. Despite this changes are very likely, with a number of players not covering themselves in glory during the 2-1 loss in a game they had to win.

Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng were surprise omissions from the starting eleven against Jurgen Klinsmann’s team but should return here, with Jordan Ayew and Mohammed Rabiu the most likely to make way. Andre Ayew, Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari have been key players for Appiah and should have done enough to keep their spots, and while Christian Atsu was a good outlet down the right his lack of end product could also see him axed. Majeed Waris is fully recovered from an injury picked up during the final warm-up game against South Korea and featured heavily through qualifying, though Albert Adomah may be a more tactically disciplined alternative if the coach wants to adopt more of a 4-4-1-1 than 4-2-3-1 as underdogs.

It would be a surprise to see any changes at the back despite the fact that John Boye was at fault for both USA goals, with defensive injuries in the build to the tournament meaning Appiah’s options here are few and far between. Rashid Sumaila would bring more aerial presence, which could be a help on set pieces against a big Germany team, while Harrison Afful and Samuel Inkoom are pushing for starts at full-back.

Bench (from): Adams GK, Dauda GK, Inkoom RB, Sumaila CB, Acquah DM, Agyemang-Badu DM/CM, Afful RM/LB, Adomah RM/LM, Rabiu CM, Mubarak LM, Atsu RW/LW, J. Ayew ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Ultimately the coach will set his side up to replicate their 2010 approach, which they were unable to do against a defensive USA. Germany will dominate the ball in the attacking half and so opportunities to counter should be there, which will make pace in key areas such as the flanks and the number ten position absolutely vital to their chances.
  •   Defensively Ghana will have to improve a huge amount if they are to spring a surprise here, having conceded twice against Klinsmann’s side despite barely coming under any pressure at all. There is a real lack of familiarity amongst the back four, which showed in the opening game, and the Germans should be able to exploit this with their movement.
  •   The experience of Essien and Muntari in front of the back four could be the difference for them, though both players will need to be incredibly disciplined. Compacting the zone in between the lines and tracking second man runs is key.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

  •   Ghana know that if they fail to take anything from this game they could be out of the tournament with a game to spare, but they will be hopeful of a Portugal victory over USA in the other fixture to give them hope of qualifying on 3 points.
  •   This puts them in an awkward position from a motivational standpoint, as they know they can probably afford to lose by a narrow margin and still be in with a decent chance of progression, essentially making the Portugal game the key.

 

Group G – Game 2
Germany (2) v Ghana (31), Saturday 21st June 20:00 BST

Germany were one of our two pre-tournament favourites and they didn’t disappoint in their opener against Portugal. Ghana, meanwhile, will feel hard done by after a good second-half showing looked to have rescued a point against the USA only to concede a late winner.

Germany have won 11 of 13 group stage matches at the World Cup and European Championships since 2006, including a 1-0 win over Ghana at this stage four years ago. They are also unbeaten in 13 matches against African nations since 1990, including wins to nil in all three competitive games. However, top-10 ranked sides from UEFA don’t have a great record at World Cups against African teams as they’ve won just 12 of 23 matches since 1990 with half those wins being by just one goal.

We can’t see anything other than a Germany win here, though, as they’ve won 18 of 20 matches at Euros and World Cups since 1992 when playing teams ranked 21-50.

Ghana are a decent side, as they showed by beating the Netherlands 1-0 in a warm-up game before the Finals, and they’ve beaten European opposition at both of the last two World Cups. All four of their matches against European sides at the past two Finals have had fewer than three goals.

Since 1990 there have been 12 World Cup group stage second matches where a side that lost their opening game has played a top-10 ranked nation that won their opener. The top-10 team has won eight times but only half the matches have had more than two goals.

Ghana aren’t necessarily out if they lose but they must make sure they are not beaten badly. If Portugal beat USA then three points could be enough to qualify and with Portugal’s bad goal difference Ghana would retain an excellent chance of progressing, even with a narrow defeat here.

 

 

Recommendations (half units):

Germany to Win 1-0 at $9.4 with Screenshot 2014-05-20 09.43.12

Germany to Win by 2-0 at $8.6 with Screenshot 2014-05-20 09.43.12

Germany to Win by 2-1 at $9.6 Screenshot 2014-05-20 09.43.12

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