Both Germany and the USA are coming off draws in their last group matches, and both are in good shape to advance.
The fact that the Americans are in good shape here is great news for fans but is a little disconcerting to sportsbooks who have booked a ton of World Cup futures action on them.
A win by either team will propel that team to the round of 16 as Group G’s top seed. A draw will send both teams through. Even a loss by either team could see the loser advance depending on the result of the Portugal vs. Ghana match. Both have a significant goal differential to make up.
The Germans are the big betting favorite in the match, but the USA looked great in the Portugal match and come into this one with confidence.
Sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark have been taking tons of betting volume on the Americans so far and have them as steep underdogs on World Cup odds posted for this match, with Germany at 2-3, the USA in the area of 9-1 and a draw line of 2-1.
The biggest question for the Americans is whether they can keep up with the German midfield, which may be the best in the tournament. Michael Bradley and company must disrupt Germany from dominating the time of possession.
Thomas Muller leads a solid German attack (and is favored to be the first goalscorer in Thursday's match), and he has help with Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil. Keeper Tim Howard and the American defense have their work cut out for them.
Jozy Altidore is out again with a hamstring injury, but his replacement, Graham Zusi, has been solid, and he had an assist in the draw against Portugal.
The U.S. have played much better when they have not been in the lead, as they do not pack the defensive side of the pitch and play a more open game. However, the draw helps them, so they may play a conservative match by not pushing forward much with exception of the counter-attack.
Clint Dempsey has been playing well and is the main worry up front for the German defense.
The Germans looked much better in their match opener than they did facing Ghana. While they won the time of possession battle (59 percent to 41 percent), they gave up more shots (20-11).
Germany and the USA should both employ a cautious game plan, which increases the odds of a draw—a result that is welcome by both squads. Both would advance to the round of 16 with a draw, and while this World Cup has seen more goals than any other, discretion will be the better part of valor in this one.
USA vs. Germany prediction: 1-1 draw
Stats, odds courtesy of Odds Shark.