Date : 23 June 2010
Venue : Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Germany, the three-time champions, are on the brink of elimination. And, yes, you heard me right.
Ghana won their first game, 1-0 against Serbia, and drew their second game against ten-man Australia 1-1. Asamoah Gyan popped up with penalties in both games. Germany won their first match, 4-0 against Australia, and lost their second game to Serbia 1-0, playing with ten men for most of the match.
Due to referee Undiano's error, Germany now must play a do-or-die clash against the Black Stars. However, all losses are meant to serve as a notice to the coach to make changes. Joachim Loew made changes to the Euro 2008 team after they lost their second match 2-1 to Croatia, and hopefully will do the same this time.
Ghana won all of their home matches against Gabon, Libya and Lesotho. Their only away victory came over Lesotho. Ghana finished top of their group on goal difference and qualified.
Germany drew twice and won eight times in their campaign. Both of their draws came against Finland. They qualified with one match to spare. Germany scored 26 goals and conceded just five.
Joachim Loew will definitely make changes considering Miroslav Klose is suspended for this match. I would like to see Joachim Loew revert to a 4-4-2 formation, with Philipp Lahm and Arne Friedrich as the wing backs, Per Mertesacker and Holger Badstuber the central defenders, Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos as holding midfielders, Bastian Schweini and Mesut Ozil the wingers, and Lukas Podolski alongside Jeronimo Cacau as the strikers.
Loew actually tried out Kroos as a defensive midfielder before the tournament, and that's why I think he might give it a try.
The best formation for me, though, would be a 4-5-1 with Friedrich as the left back, Toni Kroos as the playmaker, and Jeronimo Cacau as the lone striker.
I think Loew will just make two changes. He will bring in Cacau as the lone striker and Boateng as the left back, placing Holger Badstuber on the bench.
Ghana will be defensively strong, as they have suggested, with just one front man. It will be up to Germany to return to the old pragmatic tactics of crosses and headers as well as long balls. Without Miro Klose, the task becomes very difficult. There is also no Michael Ballack to blast free-kicks, so Germany could be in trouble.
Ghana : Kingson, Pantsil, Mensah, Vorsah, Sarpei; Annan, KP Boateng; Tagoe, Asamoah, Ayew; Gyan
Germany : Neuer, Lahm, Mertesacker, Friedrich, J. Boateng; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Mueller, Ozil, Podolski; Cacau
Could Germany really not be part of the World Cup come the knockout stage? Germany might be eliminated if they draw or lose and Serbia goes on to beat Australia. Considering the fact that the match is in Johannesburg, the fans could play an even bigger role for the Ghanaians than in the other matches.
I don't even want to try. I welcome the readers to make their predictions.