2014 World Cup – Group G
Germany vs Portugal
Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova – Salvador, Brazil
Monday, June 15, 2014, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN, Univision
Money Line: Portugal +275 / Germany +105 / Draw +235
Point Line: Germany -1/2 +105 / Portugal +1/2 -125
All Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
After an exciting four days of competition, Group G finally gets under way Monday afternoon as Germany takes on Portugal in Salvador. Later that night the other other two teams in the group Ghana and the United States will play.
The big news for the Germany-Portugal match is injuries on both sides to key players. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal has been battling tendinitis in his left knee plus a thigh injury. He missed a friendly against Mexico a couple of weeks ago, but played in Portugal’s last turn-up against Ireland last Tuesday. He left training twice this week. He is expected to start but he might not be at his 100% brilliant usual self. Defender Pepe is also battling a calf injury but he is expected to start as well for Portugal. For Germany, midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira are both questionable at best.
Germany is making their 18th trip to the World Cup, and they have won it three times the last in 1990. They have also been the runner-up four times. Germany has finished third in the last two World Cups. They lost to eventual champion Spain in the semifinals before beating Uruguay in the third place game in 2010. It has been 18 years since Germany has won a major title at Euro 1996.
Germany is #2 in the current FIFA rankings. Germany easily won their UEFA qualifying group with a 9-0-1 record. The only blemish was a 4-4 draw in Stockholm against second place Sweden. Germany outscored their opponents 36-10 in qualifying.
Joachim Low is the manager for Germany. The Germans have gone 3-0-3 in their last six games. Germany crushed lowly Armenia 6-1 in their last tune-up for the World Cup.
Portugal is playing in their sixth World Cup and third straight. They finished third in 1966 and fourth in 2006. Portugal lost 1-0 to Iberian rival and eventual champion Spain in the round of 16 in 2010.
Portugal went 6-3-1 in qualifying and finished second behind group winner Russia. Portugal beat Sweden 4-2 on aggregate in a two leg playoff to qualify for Brazil. Cristiano Ronaldo scored all four goals for Portugal including a hat trick in the second leg. Portugal scored 20 goals in qualifying and conceded 9. Portugal is currently #4 in the FIFA rankings.
Paulo Bento is the manager for Portugal. Portugal has gone 5-0-1 in their last six games, with a scoreless draw against Greece the only non win. Portugal beat Ireland 5-1 last Tuesday.
Germany leads the series 9-5-3 against Portugal. They have only met four times since 2000, but they have played in the European Championship in 2000, 2008, and 2012. They also met in the third place match in the 2006 World Cup with Germany winning 3-1 in that contest. They were in the same group in Euro 2012 and Germany won 1-0 in that match.
Germany will use a 4-2-3-1 formation. A trio of brilliant young midfielders top the scoring options. Mesut Ozil had 5 goals and 10 assists during qualifying. Marco Reus had 7 goals and 5 assists. Mario Gotze had 5 goals and 5 assists. Thomas Muller scored 5 goals for Germany in the 2010 World Cup and won the Golden Boot award. Miroslov Klose needs two goals to become the all team leading goal scorer in World Cup history. Manuel Neuer is a top flight keeper.
Portugal will use a 4-3-3 attack. If Ronaldo isn’t fit then Joao Moutinho and Nani will have to pick up the scoring slack. Pepe, Bruno Alves, Joao Pereira and Fabio Coentrao man a strong backline. Rui Patricio will need to be special in net against the high powered German attack.
Germany is playing their 100th World Cup game Monday, more than any other team including Brazil. Germany has gone 13-1-4 in their last 18 group games in the World Cup. the only loss came to Serbia in 2010. Portugal has gone 1-3-3 in their last 7 group games at the World Cup. The only win was a 7-0 thrashing of North Korea in 2010.
Portugal still has a lot of talent even if Ronaldo and Pepe can’t go. Still I don’t think they can beat Germany without a healthy Ronaldo. I think Germany wins 2-1.
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