Kick-Off: Wednesday, June 23, 20:30 CET.
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg.
Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg.
Making Africa Proud
This is the first time that the World Cup has been staged in Africa and the African teams were expected to make their continent proud. However, most of the African nations have largely disappointed, with African giants Cameroon already having been knocked out after just two rounds of matches.
Nevertheless, Ghana do have a chance of bringing back the smiles to Africans’ faces as they still have a chance of making it through to the last 16 stage. At the moment Milovan Rajevac's side are top of Group D with four points from two matches. A draw with Germany will be enough to see them through regardless of the result between Australia and Serbia.
However, the Black Stars shouldn’t get complacent as Germany are a very good side. A loss to the Germans would still be enough for Ghana provided Serbia lose or draw with Australia.
Ghana have been facing internal problems lately as their key player Sulley Muntari was accused of insulting coach Rajevac and was reportedly sent back home, only for the Ghana Football Association to officially confirm on Monday that the Inter midfielder is still with the squad.
Recovering From Serbia Defeat
Germany were arguably the most impressive team in the first round of matches in the group stage of the World Cup as they rolled over Australia 4-0. However, the former World Cup winners crashed back to earth when they were defeated 1-0 by Serbia in their second group match.
The German team were dysfunctional against the eastern European side and were far off from the level of their show against Australia in their opening game. That defeat has left Joachim Loew's side second in Group D with three points from two games, a point behind leaders Ghana and level on points with the Serbians.
Nevertheless, Germany know that they have the potential and quality to defeat Ghana. A draw with the Black Stars will still be enough for Die Mannschaft to go through to the next round but for that they would have to hope that Serbia draw with Australia.
June 19: Ghana 1-1 Australia (World Cup)
June 13: Serbia 0-1 Ghana (World Cup)
June 5: Ghana 1-0 Latvia (Friendly)
June 1: Netherlands 4-1 Ghana (Friendly)
March 3: Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 Ghana (Friendly)
June 18: Germany 0-1 Serbia (World Cup)
June 13: Germany 4-0 Australia (World Cup)
June 3 Germany 3-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina (Friendly)
May 29 Hungary 0-3 Germany (Friendly)
May 13 Germany 3-0 Malta (Friendly)
Sulley Muntari is still with the Ghana team, meaning that he could well start. However, Kwadwo Asamoah is expected to retain his place in the first XI.
Probable Line-up (4-2-3-1): Kingson, Pantsil, Mensah, Addy, Sarpei; Annan, KP Boateng; Tagoe, Asamoah, Ayew; Gyan
Miroslav Klose is suspended after picking up a red card in the last match. Cacau could take his place in the starting line-up. The rest of the team is expected to remain as usual.
Probable Line-up (4-2-3-1): Neuer, Lahm, Mertesacker, Friedrich, Badstuber; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Mueller, Ozil, Podolski; Cacau
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Asamoah Gyan (Ghana)
The Ghanaian international striker slotted home the penalty against Serbia to garner maximum points for his side in his team's first match at the World Cup. In the second game he scored against Australia to bag a point for the Black Stars. The 24-year-old will be gearing up to score another goal and lead his side to qualification for the second round.
Mesut Oezil (Germany)
The Werder Bremen player was the best player for Germany against Australia in the Europeans' opening game. However, he was marked out of the game against Serbia and, except on one or two occasions, couldn’t do much. But the 21-year-old will have to take control of the creative department and destroy the Ghanaians’ backline on Wednesday.
Ghana have grown in confidence and are undefeated in the World Cup so far. On the other hand, Germany started on a high but then went downhill against Serbia. The Castrol World Cup match predictor suggests a 40% winning chance for Australia and a 28% winning chance for Ghana; a draw is put at 32%. A win for the Germans does indeed look more probable.
Ghana 1-2 Germany
Who will come out on top? Check out Castrol Football's 2010 World Cup Match Predictor.
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