Group G fixtures: Germany Vs Portugal – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador -7PM, Ghana Vs USA – Estadio das Dunas, Natal – 1.00AM
2014 World Cup action shifts to group G as giants Germany and Portugal face off. Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself fit to play despite a recurring groin injury that ruled him out of most Portugal’s warm up games.
Besides, Paulo Bento’s side have no worries ahead of the clash. Ronaldo is expected to carry the side on his shoulders but in Luis Nani, William Cavarlho, Fabio Coentreo, Pepe Lima and Helder Postiga, they have a star studded squad. The ex-Manchester United player however has only managed two goals in ten games.
On the other hand, Germany have confirmed Bayern Munich duo of Phillip Lahm and goalie Manuel Nuer fit for the tie. However, all eyes will be on ageing striker Miroslav Klose who is two goals shy of breaking Ronaldo Da Lima’s record for the most World Cup goals.
The two sides have previously met 17 times with Germany having a better record of 9 wins, 3 losses and 5 draws. Their previous World Cup meeting was in 2006 when Germany beat Portugal 3-1 in a third place play off.
In the other group game, The Black Stars of Ghana face USA in a match the latter’s coach has dubbed more of a ‘Knockout’ game. A win for either from this game will go a long way in determining whether they make it out of the group with giants Germany and Portugal lurking in the next fixtures.
Ghana come into the game with the youngest squad of all teams in Brazil but have valuable experience in Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and captain Asamoah Gyan. USA will hope Clint Dempsey, Jose Altidore and Michael Bradley perform as their performance will have a bigger impact on the outcome of the clash.
Ghana have beaten the USA 2-1 at the last two World Cups (2006 group stage, 2010 second round) and will build from that confidence.