Germany vs. Australia, Group D
2:30 PM ET, June 13, 2010
Durban Stadium, Durban, South Africa
Place: Dortmund Stadium, the year is 2006. Millions of German fans are close to tears.
After being granted to right to host the 2006 World Cup, many felt this was the year that Germany could again hold the precious trophy.
That dream has just be crushed by a 2-0 defeat by the hands of the Italians. Once a place of hope is now a home of disbelief.
It has been four painful years since the overtime loss to Italy in the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup, and Germany is looking for redemption.
Even without Captain Michael Ballack, Germany looks to continue their destruction of World Cup group-stage matches. Since 1982, Germany has gone 12-0-5 in group-stage matches and won five consecutive match openers.
None of this bods well for the Australians.
But we cannot underestimate those from down under. The Aussies completed World Cup qualification with a 6-0-2 record along with a 12-1 scoring advantage. They are also facing a Germany squad that is the second youngest in this year's field (average age is 25).
That along with their impressive showing in the 2006 World Cup when they advanced to the quarter-finals gives hope for the Australian team.
Key Players to Watch
Bastian Schweinsteiger; Midfield — With the loss of Ballack, Schweinsteiger must be able to fill that gap in the middle of the Pitch. He must show both leadership and scoring ability in order for Germany to make it as far as it wants and to compensate for the struggling Klose and Podolski.
Tim Cahill; Midfield — Fast, smart and lethal, the Everton play-maker and Sydney native must play well and score in order for Australia to have a chance.
Cahill is a game-changer and has the ability to cause havoc in the backfield. The German defense must have an eye on him at all times.
Germany is simply too much, and Australia's defense looked unresponsive in their warm-up against the United States. Too much fire-power and experience sees Germany win 2-0.