2014 World Cup: Ghana favourites to outplay US, Ronaldo and Co face German test

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Germany kick-off their World Cup campaign Monday, aiming to continue their domination of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal at recent major tournaments.

The Germans enjoyed wins over Portugal at the 2006 World Cup, plus both of the last two European championships and would want to get their Group G campaign off to a flying start with a  fourth consecutive win.

The pre-match build up in Salvador has focused on whether or not Ronaldo will be fit to play at the Arena Fonte Nova after knee and thigh injuries.

The 29-year-old took a full part in Portugal’s training session on Saturday with teammates William Carvalho and goalkeeper Eduardo both saying he will play.

All eyes have been on the world player of the year’s recovery, as the Real Madrid forward, whose form and fitness will be vital to Portugal’s chances, has had a heavy strapping in training.

Germany midfielder Sami Khedira claims his Real Madrid teammate has told him this is Portugal’s time to break their German bogey.

However, Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski says the Germans respect dead-ball specialist Ronaldo, but there is no fear.

“We have prepared ourselves to play Portugal and not just one player,” said Podolski, who is set to win his 115th cap.

“He is certainly extremely dangerous and can decide games, but we also have players capable of doing that. If we produce a good performance, then it doesn’t matter what he does.”

The million-dollar question is whether Germany can recreate their standard from four years ago, when they finished third after hammering Argentina and England en route to the semi-finals.

Nigeria face Queiroz-led Iran

Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi believes getting the better of his opposite number Carlos Queiroz will be the biggest challenge for his side as they take on Iran in their World Cup opener in the early hours of Tuesday.

The Super Eagles have taken just two points from six matches in their last two appearances at the World Cup, but have higher hopes this time around after winning the African Nations’ Cup last year.

“I think their coach is their biggest weapon, because he’s well experienced and knows the game well,” said Keshi.

“For the Iran game we have to be focused. We have to concentrate and do our job. We’re not going to take Iran lightly..”

Ghana favourites to outplay US

Ghana will kick off their World Cup campaign in Natal tipped to beat the US Tuesday morning, but their bid for a coveted semi-final place could prove a much harder task.

Coach Kwesi Appiah’s side features a host of big names who ply their trade in Europe, from Juventus wingback Kwadwo Asamoah to AC Milan midfield pair Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, Schalke forward Kevin-Prince Boateng and striker Jordan Ayew, who plays for Marseille.

The US, coached by former German great Jurgen Klinsmann, face a tougher task to impress their critics.

Veteran midfielder Kyle Beckerman watched Ghana in a recent 4-0 friendly win over South Korea, and was impressed: “They looked really good. They’re strong, fast and technically good.”

READERS COMMENTS

  1. Lè shaq says:

    The squad is out and the are Kwarasey in post, Opare, Asamoah, Boye,J. Mensah in defence, Rabiu, Muntari, Atsu, A. Ayew in midfield, Gyan and Jordan.

  2. selfmade says:

    I said GERMANY ALWAYS RESERVED THEIR BEST FOR TOURNAMENTS and forumites took me on!!! Am vindicated again! They are thrashing the Portuguese with one the best play so far in the WC!

    Four attempts on goal and two is already in! They have the tallest players in the WC too and Ghana really has a tough match ahead!

  3. selfmade says:

    Am one of the best football analyst in this country and I hope people knows by now! Is Germany 3, Portugal 0 and is only in the first half! Is not even about the goals but the way they play and how orgamised they are as a team!

    I said it here that Germany reserves their best for tournaments and people said all sort of things against me and how their team looks poor etc but I have been vindicated again! Forumites don’t even know what they say over here and as I stated early, football is all about history and football history never lies!

    I said germany has beaten all the three opponents in recent times and that they ll repeat it again and some people didn’t believe me and now is clear to everyone! Am yet to see any avid follower of the game ever underrated the Germans before because they are beyond that!!

    Today’s win ocwe Portugal ll be their fourth straight consecutive wins over them!

  4. beautiful says:

    Pls where can I watch the Ghana match online. Thanks