History suggests that Germany will not win the next game. In recent World Cup tournaments, Germany has been fast out of the blocks, navigating their first game comfortably and then seemingly faltering at the second hurdle. Will history repeat itself? Certainly, as a neutral, a Ghana win would make the “group of death” live up to its name.
The Ghanians will consider themselves somewhat unlucky to have lost against USA. Certainly, they dominated possession and had 21 shots on goal in that game. However, their biggest problem continues to be the lack of goals. While Asamoah Gyan’s club statistics are frighteningly good (100 goals in 89 games), these goals have come in the UAE Pro league, and it is a strong argument that his move to the middle east may have hampered his level of ability. The fit against Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng should add power and speed to this team. Two Ghanians living stateside, Kofi Boateng and Daniel Bampoh, discussed tomorrow’s game for this article. They highlighted the importance of allowing Asamoah to play a more advanced role; in line with his role as an attacking fullback in Juventus’ 3-5-2 system. Certainly, the speed of Asamoah and Boateng may be the key to playing Germany on the counter.
Germany is probably the most complete team in the World Cup. Stacked at every position, they are championed by golden boot winning and hat trick scoring Thomas Muller. Such is the strength of this team that the brilliant Bastian Schweinsteiger and the prolific Klose were left out of the starting lineup for the 4-0 win against Portugal. Bastian will replace the rather ineffective Khedira in this game; but the lineup should remain relatively unchanged. Expect Germany to dominate possession in this game and create plentiful chances for Muller. The German camp has made it clear that regardless of Hummels’ injury status, Lahm – the player Pep Guardiola said was the most intelligent footballer he has coached – will be retained in midfield. The passing proficiency of the German midfield will outmaneuver the industry of Essien and Muntari.
So will history repeat itself? These two nations have faced each other twice, with Germany coming away as the winner on both occasions. Do not expect this encounter to be any different.
Prediction: Germany to win 2-0.