World Cup guide: Group G

  • By: Andy Schooler and Ben Coley
  • Last Updated: June 16 2014, 9:28 BST

Andy Schooler and Ben Coley assess the teams who will make up the World Cup's 'group of death' - Group G.

Mesut Ozil: Eight goals in qualifying yet still 12/1 to top score for Germany
Mesut Ozil: Eight goals in qualifying yet still 12/1 to top score for Germany

You can find guides to all the other groups as well as all the rest of our previews and features here, including our outright and top goalscorer tips.


GERMANY (BC)


Outright odds (with Sky Bet): 11/2
To win group: 8/15
To qualify: 1/8

Full squad: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover); Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (FC Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).

Manager: Joachim Low

World Cup record: Three-time winners (1954, 1974, 1990), four-times runners-up (most recently in 2002).

How they qualified (most recent first): Runaway winners of Europe's Group C, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 matches and scoring 36 times in the process.

v Sweden (away) 5-3 (HT 1-2) Ozil 45, Gotze 52, Schurrle 57, 66, 76
v Republic of Ireland (home) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Khedira 11, Schurrle 58, Ozil 90+1
v Faroe Islands (away) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Mertesacker 22, Ozil 74, Muller 84
v Austria (home) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Klose 33, Kroos 51, Muller 88
v Kazakhstan (home) 4-1 (HT 3-0) Reus 23, 90, Gotze 27, Gundogan 31
v Kazakhstan (away) 3-0 (HT 2-0) Muller 20, 73, Gotze 22
v Sweden (home) 4-4 (HT 3-0) Klose 8, 15, Mertesacker 39, Ozil 55
v Republic of Ireland (away) 6-1 (HT 2-0) Reus 32, 40, Ozil 55, Klose 58, Kroos 61, 83
v Austria (away) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Reus 44, Ozil 52
v Faroe Islands (home) 3-0 (HT 1-0) Gotze 28, Ozil 54, 72

Goalscorers: Mesut Ozil's tally of eight goals was both the highest of any German player, and the highest in the group ahead of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with six. Marco Reus managed five, Mario Gotze and Thomas Muller four, while defender Per Mertesacker demonstrated a threat of his own with two.

Half-time/full-time: Strong trends here, as for eight of their nine wins Germany were in front at the break. They also led at the interval in a remarkable 4-4 draw with Sweden, in which they surrendered a four-goal advantage at home. It was in the reverse where Germany didn't lead at half-time, eventually coming from 2-1 down to win 5-3.

Clean sheets: Germany kept five clean sheets, but they conceded seven goals in two games against their closest rivals in this group, Sweden.

Win to nil: Whenever Germany did keep a clean sheet, they won. Therefore they managed five wins to nil in 10 games.

Cards: Germany picked up a total of 16 cards in their 10 qualifiers, with 19 coming from their opponents to provide an average of 3.5 per game. Low's side did not pick up a single red card and in half their games were either booking-free or received just one yellow.

Other competitive internationals: None in the qualification period. Germany made the semis at Euro 2012 though before losing to Italy.

Build-up (most recent first): An indication of how seriously Germany have taken friendlies can perhaps be seen in the first five afterqualifying for the World Cup. Having averaged over 3.5 goals per game in reaching Brazil, they've managed just five in five subsequent friendlies as their attacking fluidity is negated by experimentation. This also reflects the fact they've played strong opponents in Italy, England and Chile. Their final match before flying out to Brazil saw Armenia demolished by a late blitz after a goalless first half.

v Armenia (home) 6-1 (HT 0-0) Schurrle 52, Podolski 72, Howedes 73, Klose 76, Gotze 82, 89
v Cameroon (home) 2-2 (HT 0-0) Muller 66, Schurrle 71
v Poland (home) 0-0 (HT 0-0)
v Chile (home) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Gotze 16
v England (away) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Mertesacker 39
v Italy (away) 1-1 (HT 1-1) Hummels 8

Team verdict: Were this World Cup taking place in Europe, it's quite possible that Germany would be clear favourites.

That may seem like a strong statement, but Low's team have usurped Spain in the pecking order as they bid to put their disappointment at Euro 2012 behind them. Two years ago, this young, vibrant side got treated in the fashion Germany used to treat others, as Italy taught them a thing or two about winning football matches en route to the final.

Even then, there was the underlying feeling that the European Championships - eminently winnable though they appeared to be - had come a couple of years too soon for this extremely talented crop of players.

Now, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels having turned 25, Marco Reus and Thomas Muller just a year behind and Mario Gotze having taken the next step in his career, everything bar the perceived advantage for the South Americans looks in favour of Germany.

I'd question how much of a hindrance it'll be playing in Brazil and don't think it'll be used as an excuse. The one concern would be whether this Germany side - one which blew a 4-0 lead against Sweden in qualifying - quite has the match craft to go all the way.

It's something we'll find out only in the playing of the matches. Have Germany matured enough in two years to truly overtake Spain and even Italy? Will their players - many of whom have had exhausting seasons - step up and deal with the conditions to return Germany to football's top table?

One thing seems certain - it'll be exciting to find out as this bunch has within it some of the standout talents at the World Cup.

Best bet (with Sky Bet): Mesut Ozil to top score for Germany at 12/1 - In a squad containing just one out-and-out striker, it may be that Muller or Gotze top the charts from a 'false 9' position but Ozil rates the value having comfortably led the way in qualifying and ended his first season in the Premier League on a high.


PORTUGAL (BC)


Outright odds (with Sky Bet): 22/1
To win group: 5/2
To qualify: 4/11

Full squad: Beto (Sevilla), Eduardo (Braga), Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Andre Almeida (Benfica), Bruno Alves (Fenerbahce), Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid), Joao Pereira (Valencia), Neto (Zenit St Petersburg), Pepe (Real Madrid), Ricardo Costa (Valencia), Joao Moutinho (Monaco), Miguel Veloso (Dinamo Kiev), Raul Meireles (Fenerbahce), Ruben Amorim (Benfica), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Rafa (Braga), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Eder (Braga), Helder Postiga (Lazio), Hugo Almeida (Besiktas), Nani (Manchester United), Varela (Porto), Vieirinha (Wolfsburg).

Manager: Paulo Bento

World Cup record: Third (1966), Fourth (2006), Last 16 (2010).

How they qualified (most recent first): Second to Russia in Group B, therefore sent to a play-off with Sweden which they won 4-2 on aggregate, all four goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.

v Sweden (away) 3-2 (HT 0-0) Ronaldo 50, 77, 79
v Sweden (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Ronaldo 82
v Luxembourg (home) 3-0 (HT 2-0) Varela 30, Nani 36, Postiga 78
v Israel (home) 1-1 (HT 1-0) Costa 28
v Northern Ireland (away) 4-2 (HT 1-1) Alves 21, Ronaldo 68, 77, 83
v Russia (home) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Postiga 9
v Azerbaijan (away) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Alves 63, Almeida 79
v Israel (away) 3-3 (HT 1-2) Alves 2, Postiga 72, Coentrao 90+3
v Northern Ireland (home) 1-1 (HT 0-1) Postiga 79
v Russia (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)
v Azerbaijan (home) 3-0 (HT 0-0) Varela 63, Postiga 85, Alves 88
v Luxembourg (away) 2-1 (HT 1-1) Ronaldo 28, Postiga 54

Goalscorers: Bruno Alves and Cristiano Ronaldo each contributed four goals in the group, before Ronaldo made clear his importance to the team with four further strikes across the two play-off games with Sweden.

Half-time/full-time: Slow starts can perhaps explain why Portugal needed a play-off to reach the World Cup. In each of their first six games, they either trailed or went in level at the break. In game seven they led against Russia and held onto that advantage and they did so against Luxembourg, too, but given the lack of depth to their group it's fair to say Portugal were at their most disappointing before half-time.

Clean sheets: Portugal kept four clean sheets, three of them at home, but twice failed to keep out Northern Ireland and also went behind early against Luxembourg in their very first game.

Win to nil: In a nod to where their strengths lie, Portugal won each time they kept a clean sheet.

Cards: Portugal's group games averaged a very high 4.6 cards per game but this owes largely to an ill-tempered affair with Northern Ireland, in which there were three dismissals. In eight of their 10 group matches, Portugal were awarded either one or two cards to show that, in the main, they have a strong disciplinary record, one which continued into the play-offs where they received three yellows across the two games.

Other competitive internationals: None. The last continental championship in Europe - in 2012 - saw Portugal reach the semis, losing only to eventual champions Spain on penalties.

Build-up (most recent first): Portugal's first-half struggles have continued in their post-qualifying friendlies. Ronaldo also showed his importance again - scoring twice against Cameroon and then missing the recent clash with Greece; a game which saw Portugal fail to find the target. Bruno Alves' late, late goal was enough to see off Mexico.

v Mexico (neutral) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Bruno Alves 90+3
(v Greece (home) 0-0 (HT 0-0)
v Cameroon (home) 5-1 (HT 1-1) Ronaldo 21, 83, Meireles 66, Coentrao 67, Edinho 77

Team verdict: Much will depend on how Ronaldo, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, performs in Brazil.

He showed just what a difference he can make in Portugal's play-off victory over Sweden.

Ben Coley "There's little doubt Ronaldo will need to be at the top of his game if Portugal are to seriously contend for the trophy but even then you would have to be concerned about their weak defence."
Ben Coley

That's a worry for me, as is the trend for slow starts in games - something worth noting when it comes to match bets.

On the plus side, Portugal have been consistent tournament performers for the past decade, finishing runners-up at Euro 2004 and making the semis at both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012 (eventual champions Spain edged them out on penalties there).

They can also consider themselves slightly unlucky to run into Spain in the last 16 of the last World Cup.

The most likely outcome for the Portuguese is that they again find one side just a bit too good in the latter stages.

Best bet (with Sky Bet): Portugal to be eliminated in the quarter-finals at 7/2 - good enough to qualify and claim a good draw, but it remains questionable how far Ronaldo can take them and they may struggle when the going gets tough.


GHANA (AS)


Outright odds (with Sky Bet): 200/1
To win group: 12/1
To qualify: 11/4

Full squad: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars); Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns); Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan); Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux).

Manager: Kwesi Appiah

World Cup record: Quarter-finals (2010), Last 16 (2006)

How they qualified (most recent first): Thrashed Egypt 7-3 on aggregate in the play-off round of African qualifying - the tie was effectively over after Ghana won the first leg 6-1. That followed the Black Stars topping a group which also included Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan.

v Egypt (away) 1-2 (HT 0-1) Boateng 88
v Egypt (home) 6-1 (HT 3-1) Gyan 4, 53, Gomaa OG 23, Waris 44, Muntari 72p, Atsu 88
v Zambia (home) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Waris 17, Asamoah 60
v Lesotho (away) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Boye 45, Gyan 82
v Sudan (away) 3-1 (HT 1-1) Gyan 20, 57, Muntari 83
v Sudan (home) 4-0 (HT 2-0) Gyan 19, Wakaso 38, Waris 80, Agyemang Badu 83
v Zambia (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)
v Lesotho (home) 7-0 (HT 3-0) Muntari 15, Adiyiah 24, 49, J Ayew 45, 89, Atsu 86, Akaminko 90+1

Goalscorers: Former Sunderland frontman Asamoah Gyan led the way with six goals, equally split between home and away games. Abdul Majeed Waris and Sulley Muntari both notched three times. In terms of first goalscorer bets, it's worth noting that they scored first in six of the eight matches - Gyan getting the first in three of them.

Half-time/full-time: Five of Ghana's six wins in qualifying also saw them ahead at the break. While they were good starters, when they did go behind they were unable to muster an equaliser.

Clean sheets: While Ghana's defence was pretty tight - they conceded just three goals in the group phase - they managed just three clean sheets in eight qualifiers. On the plus side, only Egypt (in what was essentially a dead rubber) managed to net more than once in a game against them.

Win to nil: Exactly half of Ghana's six wins were to nil but notably their victories over the better sides - Zambia and Egypt - saw them concede.

Cards: With red cards counted as two yellows, Ghana's games produced an average of 3.75 per game. The team was pretty well disciplined, with just 14 yellow cards (and no reds) in their eight qualifiers.

Other competitive internationals (most recent first): Ghana finished fourth at last year's Africa Cup of Nations, suffering a shock semi-final defeat to Burkina Faso on penalties. Games for this year's African Nations Championship (in which Ghana were beaten finalists) have been deliberately omitted from the following list as that tournament features only players involved in the countries' domestic leagues.

v Mali (neutral) 1-3 (HT 0-1) Asamoah 82
v Burkina Faso (neutral) 1-1 AET, 2-3 pens (HT 1-0) Wakaso 13p
v Cape Verde (neutral) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Wakaso 54p, 90+5
v Niger (neutral) 3-0 (HT 2-0) Gyan 6, Atsu 23, Boye 49
v Mali (neutral) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Wakaso 38p
v DR Congo (neutral) 2-2 (HT 1-0) Agyemang-Badu 40, Asamoah 50

Build-up (most recent first): Narrow defeats to Montenegro and the Netherlands were followed by a thumping win over South Korea.

v South Korea (neutral) 4-0 (HT 2-0) Ayew 11, 53, 89, Gyan 44
v Netherlands (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)
v Montenegro (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)

Team verdict: It is an experienced Ghana squad which will tackle the 'group of death' in Brazil.

Many of the players who made the last eight - and were Luis Suarez's hand away from the semis - in South Africa remain, while Michael Essien, who missed that tournament due to injury, will add plenty of know-how to the squad.

He impressed in the play-off win over Egypt and it should be remembered that this national hero is still only 31. Likewise Sulley Muntari, yet to turn 30, still has plenty to offer in the midfield area, while out wide the dangerous Kwadwo Asamoah, who helped Juventus win Serie A this season, will be one to keep an eye on.

The good news for the Africans is that they open with what, on paper, looks their most winnable game - against the USA in sweltering Natal. If they win that, they will have a good base on which to build with their next match, against Germany, also taking place in the north which could well favour them.

However, the defence is the weakest area of the Ghana side and that has to be a worry with matches against the Germans and Portuguese lying in wait. Take out the games against the out-classed Lesotho and Sudan and Ghana conceded in every game in qualifying.

Another concern may be that while Ghana enjoyed a strong home record in qualifying, they lost two out of four on their travels.

Essentially replicating their success of 2006 and 2010 - on both occasions the group stage was successfully negotiated - will be difficult indeed.

Best bet (with Sky Bet): Ghana to lose every game at 5/1 - Germany and Portugal both look a class above Ghana which just leaves the USA. The concern is the Americans will not be good enough to get that bet in but the price still looks tempting.


USA (AS)


Outright odds (with Sky Bet): 250/1
To win group: 14/1
To qualify: 10/3

Full squad: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nurnberg), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson, Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

Manager: Jurgen Klinsmann

World Cup record: Semi-finals (1930), Quarter-finals (2002), Last 16 (1994, 2010)

How they qualified (most recent first): Topped the six-team group in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying, finishing four points clear of Costa Rica after winning seven of the 10 games. In the previous round, the USA had won a group comprised of Jamaica, Guatemala and Antigua & Barbuda.

v Panama (away) 3-2 (HT 0-1) Orozco 64, Zusi 90+1, Johannsson 90+2
v Jamaica (home) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Zusi 77, Altidore 80
v Mexico (home) 2-0 (HT 0-0) R Johnson 49 Donovan 78
v Costa Rica (away) 1-3 (HT 1-2) Dempsey 43p
v Honduras (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Altidore 74
v Panama (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Altidore 36, E Johnson 53
v Jamaica (away) 2-1 (HT 0-1) Altidore 30, Evans 90+2
v Mexico (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)
v Costa Rica (home) 1-0 (HT 1-0) Dempsey 16
v Honduras (away) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Dempsey 36
v Guatemala (home) 3-1 (HT 3-1) Bocanegra 10, Dempsey 18, 36
v Antigua & Barbuda (away) 2-1 (HT 1-1) E Johnson 20, 90
v Jamaica (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Gomez 55
v Jamaica (away) 1-2 (HT 1-1) Dempsey 1
v Guatemala (away) 1-1 (HT 1-0) Dempsey 39
v Antigua & Barbuda (home) 3-1 (HT 2-0) Bocanegra 8, Dempsey 44p, Gomez 72

Goalscorers: Clint Dempsey, a face familiar to Premier League followers, topped the USA scoring charts in qualifying, scoring seven times, although five of those came in the weaker, earlier stage. Jozy Altidore, who struggled at Sunderland this season, bagged four in the last seven. It is also worth noting that on three occasions, the US scored winning goals in the 90th minute or later.

Half-time/full-time: USA won 11 games in qualifying in total but in only four of those games did they lead at the break. Those four examples all came on home soil where USA had a perfect qualifying record - eight wins from eight games. Twice they came from behind at the interval to win - both times in away games.

Clean sheets: Seven were kept in 16 matches but only one of those came outside the US. Six clean sheets were kept in the final qualifying stage (from 10 games), while that defensive strength also resulted in six of those 10 games having under 2.5 goals. Across the whole qualifying campaign the over/under split was level at 8-8.

Win to nil: Six of 11 wins were to nil, although significantly in the tougher group stage, five of seven victories came via this method. All five of those were at home, meaning the USA did not concede on home soil in that final qualifying group.

Cards: There were no red cards in USA's 16 qualifiers but 44 yellows - an average of 2.75 per match. 24 of those went to American players, 20 to the opposition. The maximum USA picked up in any one game was four (six combined). The majority of games (10) produced two yellows or fewer.

Other competitive internationals (most recent first): USA used their strong home record to maximum effect in last year's CONCACAF Gold Cup. As hosts, they won the continental championship, beating Panama in the final.

v Panama (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Shea 69
v Honduras (home) 3-1 (HT 2-0) E Johnson 11, Donovan 27, 53
v El Salvador (home) 5-1 (HT 2-1) Goodson 21, Corona 29, E Johnson 60, Donovan 78, Diskerud 83
v Costa Rica (home) 1-0 (HT 0-0) Shea 82
v Cuba (home) 4-1 (HT 1-1) Donovan 45+2p, Corona 57, Wondolowski 66, 85
v Belize (home) 6-1 (HT 3-1) Wondolowski 12, 37, 41, Holden 58, Orozco 72, Donovan 76p

Build-up (most recent first): USA have been packing in the friendlies in a bid to prepare for the World Cup with mixed results. Arguably their best win was over fellow qualifiers South Korea, while the US felt they should have beaten Mexico when they blew a two-goal lead. Losses to Ukraine and Austria do not bode well for their meetings with Euro powerhouses Germany and Portugal in Brazil though.

v Nigeria (home) 2-1 (HT 1-0) Altidore 32, 68
(HT v Turkey (home) 2-1 (HT 1-0) F Johnson 26, Dempsey 52
v Azerbaijan (home) 2-0 (HT 0-0) Diskerud 75, Johannsson 81
v Mexico (home) 2-2 (HT 2-0) Bradley 15, Wondolowski 28
v Ukraine (neutral) 0-2 (HT 0-1)
v South Korea (home) 2-0 (HT 1-0) Wondolowski 4, 60
v Austria (away) 0-1 (HT 0-1)
v Scotland (away) 0-0 (HT 0-0)

Team verdict: USA know they've been dealt a tough hand in this group.

It is widely regarded that this side is not as strong as the one which reached the knockout stages in 2010 or the quarter-finals in 2002. Long-time national team star Landon Donovan has been axed after age caught up with him and new heroes are required.

It's hard to see too many being made in Brazil though. Not only because of the level of opposition but also because the draw means the USA will play all three group games in the sweltering conditions of the north.

This won't suit Klinsmann's pressing, pacy style of game, while the decision to set up camp in the south looks a bizarre one - more than 10,000 air miles will have been collected by the end of the group stage.

Andy Schooler "In such hot conditions, goals could well be in short supply and USA will be keen to replicate the many clean sheets they kept during qualification."
Andy Schooler

With that in mind, the team top scorer market could offer some value.

Former Fulham and Spurs man Clint Dempsey is set to lead the line and also takes penalties now so it's no surprise to see him favourite. However, five of his seven goals in qualifying came in the weaker first group stage whereas market rival Jozy Altidore bagged four in the harder section which followed. He arrives in Brazil off a poor Premier League campaign with Sunderland though.

It's not difficult to see Klinsmann's men struggling to find the net, especially given the level of opposition, and a big-priced outsider looks worth a play and Michael Bradley fits the ball.

He's now playing in a more advanced 'number 10' role, one which allows him to get forward and get shots away.

Bradley, who once had a loan spell at Aston Villa, is 12/1 and in a market in which one goal may be enough for a place he looks worthy of support.

In general terms, with no home advantage to fall back on - something they used to full effect in qualifying and last season's Gold Cup, the USA will struggle to get much change from this campaign.

Best bet (with Sky Bet): Michael Bradley to top scorer for the USA at 12/1.

GROUP VERDICT (AS)

When the draw was made in December, this looked like one of the toughest groups with two European giants up against teams which have made an impression on the finals in recent World Cups.

However, when it comes to the crunch, it's still hard to see past Germany and Portugal progressing to the last 16 and backing the pair in the dual forecast at 8/11 looks fair business. For those seeking a bigger price, Germany-Portugal in the straight forecast pays 13/10 which also makes sense given this is a German team maturing at the right time and one which has serious claims for lifting the trophy.

Ghana's strength is in their attack but the back door may well be left open and against sides like Germany and Portugal they seem likely to be punished.

The USA also appear likely to head for the exit door. Three games in tough conditions await them and that will quell a goal threat that already looks unimpressive.

  • Odds correct as of June 5.


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