WWC 3rd place play-off: Germany

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Germany face-up for the game they did not want to qualify for.

The story so far

A massive goal difference from their 10-0 thrashing of the Ivory Coast saw Germany take the top of Group B after wins over Thailand and Côte d’Ivoire and a close draw over Norway. Their first knock-out challenge of the tournament came in the form of Sweden who qualified through in third place from Group D.

The Round of 16 battle saw Germany come out strong once more taking a 4-1 victory over the Swedish side to book a spot in the quarter final. Although the victory came across strong, Germany had troubles finding the back of the net at the start of the match before four goals showed that the concerns had no legs and the two-time champions’ eyes now look towards the final three matches.

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Their final clash brought them face to face with European rivals France in a tight battle that ended in nail-biting penalties with Germany standing triumphant after five converted penalties beat the four that France were able to deliver.

The triumph over France took them to the semi-final of the competition where the United States waited. One of the biggest clashes of the competition loomed with all eyes falling on the battle and in a tale of two penalties Germany were sent plummeting out of contention. Celia Sasic shooting her penalty shout wide before Carli Lloyd showed her how it was done seven minutes later. Defeated and disappointed, Germany now turn their eyes to avenging their defeat at the hands of America with a strong showing against European rivals England.

They’ll beat England because…

Germany are the number one rated team in the world. Although England are a strong side, too many mistakes may have cost them in the match against Japan and Germany are experts at making their opponents pay for slip-ups. Total domination in the midfield could see England’s strong defence pressured further than they’d like and with Celia Sasic hunting the golden boot in her final game of the tournament she will be hungry for a look at the back of the net. Nadine Angerer will also take the fine form that she held in the United States clash into this battle with England and the English forwards are going to have a hard time getting past one of the best goalkeepers in the whole world.

They’ll get defeated by England because…

England’s only mistake against the reigning champions, Japan, was a late own goal that put the Asian team a goal up and into the final. If the English side bring their strengths from that game to bear against Germany again, without the mind-numbing and disastrous mistake mixed in, Germany could be in trouble.

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England dominated the game against Japan even when many thought they would be the underdogs and Germany will lose if they don’t keep focus in their final game.

Best moment of the tournament so far?

With the United States defeating Germany and stealing the spot in the Final, Germany’s defining moment of the tournament still comes from their penalty shoot-out with France which took them to the final four of the competition. As always, special mention must be made of the biggest score line of the tournament when Germany reached double digits over debutants the Ivory Coast which has more than likely given Celia Sasic the golden boot for the tournament – a consolation prize for being knocked out only a single game before the final off her missed penalty.

Key Player

Nadine Angerer proved in the United States clash that she is one of the best custodians in the world, keeping Germany in the game in the first half against Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd’s long enough for them to fight back into the game in the second half. If she can bring another of her world beater performances than the English forwards are going to have an incredibly difficult time getting onto the score sheet past her.

Injuries/Suspensions

Full strength, un-plagued by injuries and suspensions.

Prediction

Germany win off the boot of Celia Sasic after she makes up for her failed penalty last week and clinches the golden boot for the competition. England are going to have a massive problem beating Nadine Angerer in the nets and that means that Germany are more than likely going to keep a clean sheet if they can secure the game dominance in the first half then England are going to struggle to make an impact and Germany will take the game 2-0.

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