World Cup 2014: Fixtures, Match Odds, Predictions, Latest Standings for Day 5

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2014

COSTA DO SAUIPE, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 06:  Germany coach Joachim Loew speaks to members of the media after the Final Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil at Costa do Sauipe Resort on December 6, 2013 in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Monday's action is difficult to call at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with Group F, and arguably the toughest of the lot—Group G—getting their openers out of the way.

Portugal and Germany is the headline fixture, but Ghana's clash with the USA should also be mightily tight while Iran and Nigeria are very similarly matched.

Here are the fixtures and match odds for Monday:

World Cup 2014: Day 5 Fixtures
TimeFixturePrediction
5 p.m. BST, noon ETGermany vs. Portugal2-2
8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ETIran vs. Nigeria0-1
11 p.m. BST, 6 p.m. ETGhana vs. USA1-2
BBC Sport
World Cup 2014: Day 5 Match Odds
Match 1
Germany20-21
Portugal16-5
Draw13-5
Match 2
Iran15-4
Nigeria10-11
Draw5-2
Match 3
Ghana3-2
USA21-10
Draw23-10
Odds Shark

Certainly for the USA and Ghana, Monday's clash is a must-win game. Portugal and Germany are favourites to advance from the group, so anything less than victory for the two underdog nations would surely leave them needing positive results against two of Europe's super powers.

Equally, if Nigeria want to win the inevitable race for second place in Group F behind Argentina, they will need to claim three points against Iran.

Here are the current standings for the two groups involved in Monday's action:

World Cup 2014: Group F and G Standings
Group F
TeamPWDLPts
Argentina11003
Iran00000
Nigeria00000
Bosnia and Herzegovina10010
Group G
TeamPWDLPts
Germany00000
Portugal00000
Ghana00000
United States00000
BBC Sport

 

Go For a Draw Between Germany and Portugal

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JUNE 15:  Cristiano Ronaldo talks to the media during the Portugal press conference ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G match between Germany and Portugal held at the Arena Fonte Novaon June 15, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by
Martin Rose/Getty Images

The bookies make Germany the favourites to beat Portugal in one of the best matchups of the group stages.

However, 13-5 odds for the draw looks like a good punt, especially as Cristiano Ronaldo has declared himself to be completely ready for the match in Salvador at the Arena Fonte Nova, per the Daily Mail:

The current holder of the Ballon d'Or had quite a season in 2013-14, winning the Champions League with Real Madrid and breaking a tournament record in the process, per Opta:

If he can produce that type of form in Brazil, Portugal will prove a tough team to beat, and even with the impressive talents of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil and Philipp Lahm, Germany will have to focus on containing the 29-year-old.

Both sides should qualify for the knockout rounds as they will likely beat the USA and Ghana. But Uruguay's shock loss to Costa Rica should act as a warning, and an early loss for either side on Monday will only heighten nerves.

Though there are likely to be goals, a draw looks a real possibility in a match between two high-quality sides who would be happy to escape this fixture without defeat. 

Prediction: Germany 2-2 Portugal

 

USA Win Looks Good Value

NATAL, BRAZIL - JUNE 15:  Michael Bradley of the United States works out during training at Estadio das Dunas on June 15, 2014 in Natal, Brazil.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

While Ghana are favourites to win the other Group G match at 3-2, the US team look impressive and are certainly worth a bet at 21-10. 

These two sides have met twice in the last two World Cups—in the last 16 in 2010 and the group stages in 2006—and on both occasions, Ghana have prevailed.

However, USA look in good form coming into this tournament, having beaten Nigeria, Turkey and Azerbaijan in their warm-up matches. 

As BT Sport's Ian Darke pointed out, striker Jozy Altidore returned to goalscoring form with a brace against Nigeria, and the US team have quality throughout:

As for Nigeria, they will need to perform better than they did against Jurgen Klinsmann's side prior to the tournament, but there is no looking past them to win at 10-11 against Iran.

A superior-looking outfit to their opponents, Nigeria should certainly get an opening win under their belts as they aim to reach the knockout stages ahead of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Prediction: USA 2-1 Ghana, Nigeria 1-0 Iran