by Jason Green of Predictem.com
The FIFA rankings for the teams in Group D are Germany 6th, Serbia 16th, Australia 20th, and Ghana 32nd.
Germany is the odds-on favorite to win Group D and in European qualifying were one of only five teams that went undefeated. They tend to do well in the bigger international tournaments, they came in 3rd in World Cup as the host in 2006, but they also tend to have trouble beating elite teams. The Germans have no major weaknesses and they have a solid all-around team with such players as Chelsea’s Michael Ballack, Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose, and Werder Bremen’s Mesut Oezil. Their midfield is their strength, as if they can control time of possession they will be tough to beat.
Serbia is making their very first appearance in the World Cup and they came in first in their European qualifying even ahead of France. Nemanja Vidic and Branislav Ivanovic anchor a very good Serb defense and their midfielders are decent, but they lack a high scoring offense with no main striker that is always a threat to tickle the twine. Milan Jovanovi of Standard Leige and Milos Krasic CSKA Moscow have to give the Serbs some goals or they will have to rely on their defense and their counter attack in order to score.
Ghana is in the World Cup for the second straight time and they will have a bit of a home field advantage being on African soil. While they do have the world-class midfielders of Michael Essien of Chelsea and Sulley Muntari of Inter Milan they lack much offensive firepower so Ghana may have to press their midfielders forward for more offensive pressure. Their central defense is a major concern for Ghana, but luckily they have G Richard Kingston of Wigan. He may have to play great, especially if the Ghana defense does not play well. Much like Serbia they will be looking for counter attacks since they lack quality strikers.
Australia is also making their second straight appearance in the World Cup. The Aussies main strength is their team play, as this squad is not much different than the 2006 squad that narrowly lost to eventual champion Italy in the first round of the playoffs. Australia has a good defense and the main reason is Fulham G Mark Schwarzer. The Aussies do not have a good offense, but they do have unpredictable Everton striker Tim Cahill and he is their main threat to score.
Since all the teams in the group will be major underdogs in their matches against Germany the race for second place is vital, as Serbia, Ghana, and Australia have a good shot to snag it in this not-so-tough Group D.
Here are the odds to win the Group Stage D at Sportsbook as of May 7th.