Ghana v Germany

I have a say

Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by

Group D

Ghana v Germany
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Kick-off: Wed June 23, 7.30pm BST
TV: ITV1 7pm, ITV HD 7pm

It’s advantage Ghana as they are set to become the first – and perhaps only – African qualifiers at the continent’s first World Cup.

The pressure is on Joachim Löw’s Germany, the subject of criticism back home and at the centre of a political power struggle, with his team having to produce the sort of form which saw them sweep away Australia in the opening game.

With Miroslav Klose suspended, much will rest for Germany on Lukas Podolski’s predatory instincts, while Ghana still have Sulley Muntari, who was nearly sent home for a sulking rant when he only played a bit part in the first two matches, back on message and first choice centre backs, captain John Mensah and Isaac Vorsah back after injury.

Key clash

The power and pace of Asamoah Gyan, man of the match and match winner in his opening two games, will provide a stern test for a German centre back pairing of Mertesacker and Friedrich which can be made to look vulnerable

Touchline duel

Joachim Löw v Milovan Rajevac: The Germany manager is the man under pressure, that celebrated black thatch liable to turn grey during the game if he cannot win his tactical duel with the wily Milovan Rajevac, who has already shown his authority with his disciplinarian handling of Muntari.

Talking tactics

With Miroslav Klose suspended, Low is considering changing formation and going with two strikers.

Cacau, the Brazilian-born forward, is set to win his 11th cap in place of Klose and Löw could push Lukas Podolski forward.

Ghana are likely field German-born Kevin-Prince Boateng as they look to move into round two.

What they say

Milovan Rajevac: “"We gained a lot against Australia and we will learn from our mistakes for the Germany match, we will do our best. We only conceded one and it was a good goal and we always try to score.”
Joachim Löw: "Ghana is possibly Africa's last chance in the tournament and will be very motivated. It's not going to be a piece of cake, but we are confident that we have what it takes to beat Ghana."

Probable teams

Germany (4-2-3-1): 1 Neuer, 16 Lahm, 17 Mertesacker, 3 Friedrich, 14 Badstuber, 7 Schweinsteiger, 6 Khedira; 8 Özil, 13 Muller, 10 Podolski 19 Cacau
Subs: 12 Wiese, 22 Butt, 2 Jansen, 4 Aogo, 5 Tasci, 9 Kiessling, 15 Trochowski, 18 Kroos, 20 Boateng, 21 Marin, 23 Gomez Ghana (4-2-3-1): 22 Kingson, 4 Pantsil, 5 John Mensah, 15 Vorsah, 2 Sarpei; 6 Annan, 23 Boateng; 12 Tagoe, 21 Asamoah, 13 A Ayew, 3 Gyan
Subs: 1 Agyei, 16 Ahorlu, 7 Inkoom, 8 Jonathan Mensah, 9 D Boateng, 10 Appiah, 11 Muntari, 14 Amoah, 15 Vorsah, 17 I Ayew, 18 Adiyiah, 19 Addy, Owusu-Abeyie
Referee: Carlos Simon (Brazil).

Previous meetings

Played 1: Ghana 0, Draws 0, Germany 1

1993: (Bochum, friendly): Germany 6 Ghana 1

Fact: Germany have played African opposition just four times, beating Algeria, Morocco and Cameroon but losing to the Desert Foxes in 1982.

Prediction: After a rare defeat, by Serbia, the Germans will be like a wounded animal with Ghana the prey.

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