Posts Tagged ‘ghana’

English striker and World Cup 1986 top scorer Gary Lineker once observed, “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for ninety minutes and in the end the Germans win.” Group G will in all likelihood provide the latest incarnation of that long-standing truth.

Here’s the breakdown:


Germany will open their tournament by playing their 100th World Cup game, a figure unmatched by any other team. Known for a relentless work-rate and smooth teamwork, Die Nationalmannschaft will shut down opposition attacks and punish any defensive lapses. Win a win rate higher than any previous Germany manager, Joachim Loew is going to be targeting nothing less than bringing home the trophy. They’ve got the quality to do it, too.


Ghana have for several years been one of Africa’s strongest sides. The Black Stars made it to the quarter finals in the last Cup, and would be fancied to put in another strong showing this year, if not for being drawn in a group with Germany and Portugal – ranked 2nd and 4th in the world respectively. The return of Michael Essien, a player comfortable anywhere in the defence or midfield, will be a huge boost to the team’s confidence, and to their prospects.


Often maligned for ‘playing dirty’, Portugal have spent the last decade building themselves into a major force. The key player is of course going to be Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s brilliant, of course, but he has struggled with tendinitis in his knee of late, and may need to be used sparingly, at least in the early stages.


The United States might well count themselves unfortunate at having received the draw they did, but they too have the quality to cause an upset. Knocked out by Ghana in both of the last two tournaments, they will be looking for revenge in their opening game. Jurgen Klinsmann has built a strong team, getting a national record 16 wins during 2013, but his approach has involved a lot of experimentation and there are questions as to how well the squad will settle.

Predicted group standings:


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