World Cup | Group G Preview

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Group G is one of the tightly-contested groups in this World Cup with each four sides having genuine claims of reaching the knockout phase of the tournament.

The highlight of the group takes place early morning Australian time as the might of Germany take on Cristiano Ronaldo and friends, better known as Portugal.

The group’s other match also promises to be an intriguing battle with 2010 Quarter Finalist Ghana taking on United States.

Germany v Portugal
(Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador)
Tuesday 2am AEST

Is this the year Germany finally turn promise into silverware? Germany have threatened to go all the way in the last four major International tournaments but faltered at the last hurdle. Semi-finalist at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, beaten finalist in Euro 2008 and once again beaten at the last four in Euro 2012, Germany will be hoping the tide finally turns in Brazil.

Even with star Marco Rues being ruled out of the tournament just last week Germany have a deadly-looking forward line with Thomas Muller, Andre Schuerrle, Mario Goetze, Lucas Poldolski and Miroslav Klose who only needs two more goals to become the leading goalscorer in World Cup history. Throw in a midfield boasting Mesut Oezil, Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Germany have enough goals in them to win a World Cup twice over.

Germany also boast an impressive defensive line that will need to be at its best with they wish to open their campaign with a win.

Portugal always promise to deliver at major tournaments but more times than not fail to deliver. A lack of team harmony in the squad has been an excuse that has been floated in the pass that will need to be rectified if the wish to go deep in Brazil.

The big question mark surrounding Portugal is their reliance on Ronaldo. Portugal qualified for Brazil with a play-off victory over Sweden last year with Ronaldo netting all the goals in the tie.

Not known for sporting the greatest defence in world football, Real Madrid man Pepe will need to be on form in this match to keep the German forward line in check.

The problem with the Portuguese side is that it lacks depth across the park. Take Ronaldo out of the picture than it is a very flat looking side. The upside for Portugal is that Ronaldo has the quality to carry this side all the way to the pointy end of the tournament.

Germany on the other hand have depth all over the park and can be considered a guanine threat to lift the trophy at the end of it all.

If Germany can keep Ronaldo under wraps, which is easier said than done, they should take this one out. Along with their potent attack, Germany defence is amongst the most solid at this World Cup in Benedikt Hoewedes and Mats Hummels with Manuel Neuer between the sticks.

The winner of this match will most likely take out the group. It’s hard to go past Germany in this match even with arguably the best player in the world lining up for the opposition.

This fixture offers to produce plenty of goals so I’m going for Germany 4-2.

Ghana v USA
(Estadio das Dunas, Natal)
Tuesday 8am (AEST)

The US will be out for revenge over Ghana who have knocked them out at the last two World Cups when they take on each other in the day’s final game.

Ghana were the surprise packet in South Africa four years ago and were just a Luis Suarez handball away from becoming the first African side to make it to the last four at a World Cup.

Both sides come into the tournament on the back of good pre-World Cup form and will be confident they can cause an upset and get out of this tough group.

US manager Jurgen Klinsmann shocked fans by omitting all-time leading national team goal scorer Landon Donovan from his 23-man squad, a decision which caused serous backlash in the states and seems a perplexing one. The US will now rely heavily on Captain Clint Dempsey to bang in the goals in Donovan’s absence.

A massive question mark hovers over Ghanaian Michael Essien taking his place in the side due to injury which could have a massive saying in who takes out this game.

On paper this should be a very even contest. While neither side enjoy the highest profile in the tournament, US and Ghana both have solid squads with a few high quality players that may prove the difference for their nations.

If either team has legitimate hopes of getting out of this group, than claiming the three points in the game is a must. In saying that, I think a draw is one the cards. With both sides being so even, it is hard to split the. A draw does neither side any real favours that seems to be the likely result in this one. 1-1

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