2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:00 p.m. EDT
Estadio Castelao – Fortaleza, Brazil
Germany -454, Ghana +1050, Tie +500
Over/Under: 3.5 Goals (Over +165, Under -208)
Group G play of the 2014 World Cup continues on Saturday afternoon with Germany heavily favored to defeat Ghana.
Germany was absolutely dominant in their opening match of the World Cup, knocking off Portugal 4-0 behind a hat trick by Thomas Muller. Ghana gave up a goal to the United States in the first minute and another in the 86th minute in a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to open group play. These two countries have only met twice, with the most recent meeting coming in group play of the 2010 World Cup when Germany escaped with a 1-0 victory. The other match was a 6-1 demolition by the Germans in a 1993 friendly. While Ghana are understandably huge underdogs, they can take solace in the fact that Germany's second group game has resulted in only one win in the past five World Cups. Both teams will likely be missing a player, as Germany defender Mats Hummels is doubtful with a thigh injury, while Ghana's Michael Essien is unlikely to start due to his lingering toe injury.
Germany may have won by four goals against Portugal, but the match stats were pretty even with both teams getting nine shots on goal and the Germans holding the ball for 54% of the time compared to 46% for their opponent. Corner kicks were 6-4 in favor of Portugal, who were already down 2-0 when Pepe picked up a red card. But there was no stopping Thomas Muller, who netted a penalty kick at the 12-minute mark, scored again just before halftime and completed his hat trick 78 minutes into the match. He now has an amazing eight goals in his seven career World Cup games. The other Germany goal versus Portgual came from Mats Hummels, who will likely be watching from the sidelines in this contest.
Ghana's result in their opening match was so disheartening because they really outplayed the United States, holding possession for 60% of the match and firing 21 shots (8 on goal) compared to the Americans eight shots (7 on goal). Ghana also had seven corner kicks (USA had 2), but was whistled for five offsides calls. Two Ghana players -- Mohammed Rabiu and Sulley Muntari -- also have to be careful not to pick up a yellow card like they did in that first match. Ghana's lone goal of the match came at the 82nd minute from Andre Ayew, assisted by Asamoah Gyan on a sweet back-heel pass. This duo won't see as many chances as they did versus the Americans, so they have to capitalize early to have a shot at pulling off the mammoth upset.