Germany vs. Argentina Durban Stadium in Durban, South Africa 2:30 PM EST Sunday June 13. 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Germany 1.50 / Australia 7.00 / Draw 4.20
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Germany -265 / Australia +650 / Draw +320
In both teams first match in Group D on Sunday night in South
Africa 3-time World Cup champion takes on Australia. The Aussies had their
best World Cup showing in 2006 when they advanced to the knockout phase
and put up a fight losing to eventual champion Italy 1-0 on a penalty kick
in injury time.
The Socceroos, as the Australians are called, have almost the same squad they did in 2006, but they are not coming into the World Cup playing great soccer. Even though they played 2 countries that will be playing in South Africa they have lost their last 2 matches and in those 2 matches only scored 1 goal.
Germany is the odds-on favorite to win Group D, but their odds slipped a little a while back, as they lost a couple of defenders and captain Michael Ballack to injuries. The loss of Ballack may hurt, as he is not only the team captain, but also the leader of the midfield and he is one of the best at his position in the world. However, Germany has played two solid European teams in their last 2 friendlies and won both matches by a combined score of 6-1.
Australia plays great team soccer, but lacks the talent that the Germans have, which is why they are the big underdogs in this match. They cannot allow the German midfielders to dominate the match in terms of time of possession, as if they do they are in a for a long night.
These 2 teams have only met twice and there were in big international competitions, as Germany won 4-3 in the 2005 Confederations Cup and 3-0 at the 1974 World Cup.
Australia Recent Form
6/5/2010 USA 3 Australia 1 (Friendly)
6/1/2010 Australia 0 Denmark 1 (Friendly)
5/24/2010 Australia 2 New Zealand 1 (Friendly)
Germany Recent Form
6/3/2010 Germany 3 Bosnia & Herzegovina 1 (Friendly)
5/29/2010 Hungary 0 Germany 3 (Friendly)
5/13/2010 Germany 3 Malta 0 (Friendly)
Australia lacks much pace in the defense and they will have to use their size in order to thwart the German attack. That is one of the strengths of the Aussies, as they are a big squad that will not get out-muscled for balls.
Germany’s Philipp Lahm is now the captain with Ballack out and he will be counted on for both offense and defense.
This is not a good match up for Australia, as they only have one big name striker in Tim Cahill and the German defense is solid only giving up 5 goals in 10 World Cup qualifying matches. They will key on Cahill and make the other Socceroos beat them.
With Ballack out Bastian Schweinsteiger will take the center-midfielder position and he will be counted on to control the match. The Aussies do not have a great midfield and Schweinsteiger can control the middle and set up the offense the Germans will be in good shape.
Goalie Mark Schwarzer and central defender Lucas Neill will have to have a stellar match for the Aussies to have any chance. Schwarzer will be peppered with shots and even though he is a solid goalie there is no way he will keep a clean sheet in this match.
German striker Miroslav Klose won the Golden Boot award in the 2006 World Cup for scoring the most goals in the tournament and he will get off to a good start in this World Cup by scoring at least one goal in this match.
Jason’s Pick: Germany has looked great heading into the World Cup and even with their losses due to injury they have way too much talent to lose to an inferior team like Australia. I think the Socceroos may keep it close for a while, but Germany’s offense will score at least three goals in this match and their defense will not concede any. Germany will win this match by a score of 3-0 or 4-0.