The second game of the World Cup 4 years ago bought unhappy memories for Germany but today that shouldn’t prove to be the case as they can repeat a victory over Ghana at the group stages of last year’s tournament and all but book their place in the last 16.
A 4-0 win against Portugal went a long way to banishing worries over an unbalanced squad and injury problems that will probably not be tested until the quarter finals of the tournament but their first game performance showed everything that has led to Low’s men being so highly rated. While a red card for Pepe did help them greatly, by the time that had came Germany were already 2-0 up and in cruise control and they continued afterwards to cut the Portuguese apart at will, with Thomas Muller scoring a hat-trick but Mezut Ozil also missed a good opening and Gotze too missed an even better chance as the Germans routed the Iberians.
And judged on Ghana’s first game, they can do the same to the Black Stars. Stephen Appiah’s side showed the same amount of impressive enthusiasm that had earned them so many admirers at the last World Cup on Monday but horrendous defending and an atrocious final ball cost then anything from their opener against the USA and they are playing a side of a different level here.
The lack marking for John Brooks’s goal was just as slack as the lack of attention Portugal paid to Mats Hummels for Germany’s second while the way that Clint Dempsey ran through their defence for the opener does not bode well for an oncoming midfield that contains Mezut Ozil and Mario Gotze supplying the razor sharp Thomas Muller. The trio oozed class as they cut through Portgual on several occasions and will relish facing Sulley Muntari, who was woefully off the pace in midfield on Monday. Michael Essien is not the same player that destroyed the middle of the park at the highest level and if both are exposed then the centreback pairing of Jonathan Mensah and John Boye are massively vulnerable with Adam Kwarasey not that convincing either.
Ghana do have the pace ana energy to get at Germany – and playing on the counter today is likely to suit them – and in Wajeed Maris they have a pacey forward capable of troubling either Jerome Boateng or Benedikt Howes, but their final ball on Monday was dreadful with Christian Atsu particularly poor although Andre Ayew was quality of missing a couple of chances that presented themselves –albeit with a fine, fine finish to level things – and their finishing will need to be vastly improved f they are to trouble Germany seriously. It may be the defending however, that costs them and if they do not tighten up Germany could cut though them; The 1 goal handicap appeals.
2 pts Germany -1 (evens Spreadex)