World Cup Odds and Picks: Germany Vs. Australia Predictions
by Robert Ferringo - 6/11/2010
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So, is it a mismatch when one team has the same number of World Cup championships as its opening opponent has World Cup appearances?
Germany begins its march toward a fourth World Cup title with a match against upstart Australia at 2:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, June 13. The Aussies are making their second consecutive appearance, and third overall, compared to the 17 that the Germans will have embarked on.
The Germans are currently ranked No. 6 in the world compared to a respectable No. 20 rating for the Australians.
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But despite the disparity between each club’s national resumes, this Australian team is virtually the same squad that earned a surprise trip to the second round in Germany in 2006. In that tourney they benefited from a cupcake group (outside of Brazil) and from a cushy schedule. But the Aussies have built upon that Cup success and completed an unblemished qualifying heading into 2010.
That said, there’s no doubt that what they face in South Africa will be a significant upgrade over Qatar and Bahrain.
The Socceroos have long been known as a team that played fast and loose up front and was never afraid to attack. However, current coach Pim Verbeek replaced former coach Guus Hiddink and his aggressive style. And Verbeek has been successful in transferring the national style to a more defensive-oriented approach. The Aussies only gave up one goal in eight qualifying games and they were stifling in the back.
The problem in their match with Germany is that the Germans essentially created the “defense first” approach and they are, year-in and year-out, among the best defensive squads in the world. So Australia – they of no renown – is going to try to outfox one of the most decorated national teams in soccer history by beating them at their own game? I don’t think so.
Verbeek employs a 4-2-3-1 formation. Germany has long been a 4-4-2 club but over the last decade they have started to mix it up and employ a variety of shapes. And the 4-2-3-1 system is something that the Germans will likely feature in South Africa. So that’s an edge for the Aussies gone: normally their system may confound some people early and may take some adjusting to. But you lose that element when you’re playing a team that A) plays the same system, B) knows all of its weaknesses, and C) has better players to execute against it.
One drawback for the Germans is the fact that they have had to deal with some significant injuries leading up to the tournament. Michael Ballack, one of the most accomplished players in the nation’s history, won’t be suiting up. Neither will top goalie Rene Adler nor midfielder Christian Trasch. The Ballack injury cannot be overstated and, I believe, eliminates the Germans from serious consideration as a title contender. But even without its best player the Germans still have an impressive advantage over the Aussies.
Germany vs. Australia World Cup Odds:
Germany is a significant favorite at -1 (-105) and Australia is set at +1 (-125). Betting with the Draw, Germany is situated at -200 to win outright while Australia is at +650. The Draw pays at +275 and the total is 2.5 for this one.
Germany vs. Australia Picks and Predictions:
Germany Will Win If: They show up. The Germans are an incredibly confident bunch heading to South Africa. But there are some people that see some red flags – particularly that most of the forwards they will be relying on to boost the offense either aren’t playing or aren’t playing well on their club teams. But if they come focused in this first game, and they have a long history of domination at the outset of the tournament, then they should handle a weaker team from a significantly weaker region. The key is adjusting without Ballack and maintaining the defensive superiority. But Germany has long been a team that seemingly overachieves and thrives in tournament play. As long as they come out and play steady ball they should win this game and advance.
Australia Will Win If: Their defense is flawless and they get a lucky bounce or two. The Socceroos want to play in their shell and will need to hold the German attack at bay if they want a chance at stealing three points. I don’t think it’s going to happen. But, then again, soccer is a funny game and the Aussies are a team with a strong veteran core. Germany has shown some cracks in its vaunted defense recently and all it takes is one breakdown to change the nature of the tournament. I think that if Australia can forge a tie and earn one point in the result it would be considered a major victory.
Robert Ferringo will be releasing rated selections on the 2010 World Cup this summer. Robert is a long-time soccer aficionado and one of the most exciting handicappers in the industry, and he guarantees a profit through the entirety of the tournament. Sign up today and get on board the Victory Train!
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