World Cup Odds and Picks: Germany Vs. Ghana Predictions
by Nicholas Tolomeo - 6/23/2010
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In a World Cup seemingly flipped on its side, Germany seemed to restore some order with a resounding 4-0 thrashing of Australia in its World Cup opener.
But just five days later the Group D favorites and 2006 semifinalist fell to the wayside like so many other perennial powers with a surprising 1-0 loss to Serbia. It was the German’s first group stage loss since 1986. Now you can count Germany along with England, France, Italy and Spain as countries finding themselves in unusual positions.
Germany’s chance at redemption begins Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. EST in Johannesburg against group leaders Ghana who opened this World Cup run with a 1-0 win over Serbia that looks more impressive each day and then recovered from a 1-0 deficit to tie a 10-man Australia team.
Perhaps no position is as precarious and confusing as Germany’s, who are playing in a muddled Group D that features Germany’s final group stage opponent ahead of everyone with four points. Germany and Serbia each have three points with Australia still alive with a point.
A win would see Germany through to the knockout stage while a draw could very easily send Germany packing. If Germany plays to a draw and heavy favorites Serbia defeat Australia then it will be Serbia winning the group, Ghana placing second and a stunning early German exit. For Germany to draw and still get through it would need Australia to win or draw against Serbia. The last thing coach Joachim Loew wants to be doing on Wednesday is watch the scoreboard while his team is out on the pitch.
On the World Cup stage this is certainly a unique situation for the Germans who have been to more World Cup semifinals (7) than any other country. But in EURO 2008 a veteran German squad collected itself after an upset at the hands of Croatia to knockoff host Austria 1-0 and get through to the quarterfinals.
As surprised as some people may be of Germany’s situation, no one should be caught off guard by what Ghana has been able to do. It was just four years ago that Ghana, making its World Cup debut, recovered from an opening loss to eventual champions Italy to shutout Czech Republic 2-0 and get past the United States 2-1 and advance to the knockout stage. The Black Stars are now on the cusp of making it two-for-two in getting out of the group stage. That certainly will be a tall order though as many are expecting to see the same German side who tagged Australia for four goals rather than the sluggish side who were shutout by Serbia.
Both Germany and Ghana enter this game after subpar performances. In a very winnable game Ghana was forced to settle for a draw against a 10-man Australia team. Ghana’s lone goal came on a penalty kick. Germany could be sitting in the same position as Ghana but it failed to convert its penalty kick as Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic snuffed out Lukas Podolski’s strike.
Germany vs. Ghana World Cup Odds
For its third consecutive group game Germany is favored at -1 (even) while Ghana at +1 is -120. In three-way wagering Germany is -175, a draw is priced at +275 and Ghana is +500. The total is 2.5. Odds are courtesy of Bodog and Sports Interaction.
Germany vs. Ghana Picks and Predictions
Germany Will Win If: It plays its game. Despite the standings and the previous results the Germans are the far superior team here. They had to play down a goal and down a man for the better part of the Serbia game, so if they can keep all 11 players on the pitch and create half as many opportunities as they did in the Australia and Serbia games Ghana will simply have no answer.
Ghana Will Win If: It seizes whatever few opportunities present themselves and find a way to fend off what should be a blistering German attack. Against a 10-man Australia team Ghana allowed numerous chances on net. That same style defense will spell defeat against a world class German team. Ghana will need to counter attack and play its set pieces flawlessly to get on the board against Germany.
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