The second group G game of the World Cup sees Germany vs Ghana take place at the Estádio Castelão in Fortaleza (12:00 PM) on Saturday and it is certainly a match which has a lot riding on it for both sides.
Germany got their campaign off to a fine start, thumping Portugal 4-0 in their opening game. While Pepe’s moment of madness certainly helped the Germans ease to victory, Joachim Loew’s men were dominant for majority of the ninety minutes and certainly look strong contenders to go all the way in the competition.
However, before Germany can think about lifting the World title, they still have a tough job to carry out in order to make it into the knockout phases of the World Cup – beginning with a clash against Ghana on Saturday.
While it is a match which Die Mannschaft are expected to win, they must not allow complacency to creep in, especially given the fact that Germany lost their second game in the 2010 World Cup against Serbia straight after thumping Australia 4-0 in their first match as well.
Ghana were handed a huge hammer blow in their hopes of making it out of their group after losing out to United States in their opening game of the campaign and it will now certainly take a minor miracle for the Ghanaians to make it into the next round of the competition.
That being said, the Black Stars will surely head into the game against Germany with the belief that they can get a positive result. Ghana gave the Germans a very hard time four years ago in South Africa and while the team has undergone major changes since then, the strong attitude of the squad remains intact.
It goes without saying that Ghana will have to put in a herculean effort to see off Germany but one should certainly not underestimate the threat that the African giants can pose if they play to their best.
Germany manager Joachim Loew will not think about making many changes to his side that emphatically beat Portugal, with the exception of Mats Hummels who is struggling with a thigh injury.
If Hummels is not fit in time for the clash against Ghana, captain Philipp Lahm could slot in at the full back position. Manuel Neuer will start in goal for Germany while the defence should consist of Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Hoewedes, Per Mertesacker and Lahm.
With Lahm potentially moving back to defence, Bastian Schweinsteiger could return to the starting lineup after sitting out against Portugal, with the likes of Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos partnering the Bayern star in midfield.
The trio of Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller were sensational in attack for Germany and should retain their place in the lineup against Ghana as well. Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski are also in contention.
Ghana manager Kwesi Appiah elected to go with a very youthful lineup against United States but could hand couple of his more experienced players a start against Germany.
Adam Kwarasey will be the man starting between the sticks while the defence could remain unchanged consisting of Daniel Opare, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye and Kwadwo Asamoah.
There could be a few of changes in midfield though as the experienced duo of Michael Essien and Kevin Prince-Boateng could well be handed starts alongside Sulley Muntari, which means that Mohammed Rabiu and Jordan Ayew may have to drop to the bench. Albert Adomah and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu also remain options for Appiah to choose from.
Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew were impressive against United States and will probably be providing the creative spark from the midfield, while Asamoah Gyan will lead the line for the Black Stars.
Germany (Probable XI): Neuer; Boateng, Hoewedes, Mertesacker, Lahm; Khedira, Kroos, Schweinsteiger; Ozil, Gotze; Muller
Ghana (Probable XI): Kwarasey; Opare, Mensah, Boye, Asamoah; Atsu, Boateng, Muntari, J. Ayew, A. Ayew; Gyan
Germany: W D D W W
Ghana: D L L W L
Germany vs Ghana Prediction
Given the quality in their squad and the manner at which they tore apart Portugal, Germany certainly look overwhelming favourites to claim victory against Ghana.
That being said, Ghana will also be fighting for their lives in order to preserve their status in the competition and will surely not look to make it easy for the Germans.
Germany are expected to enjoy much of the possession and the dangerous Thomas Muller is the undoubted threat to the Ghanaian defence.
From Ghana’s perspective, defence solidity is the key while the likes of Asamoah Gyan, Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew will be important players on the counter.
While it will not be easy, Germany should grab a victory and seal their place in the knockout rounds of the competition while in the process also seal Ghana’s elimination.
Germany 2 – 0 Ghana
Germany vs Ghana Television
The Germany vs Ghana match will be televised in the USA on ESPN3 (stream) and Univision Deportes at 12:00 PM Pacific.