2014 WORLD CUP SOCCER
Kickoff: Thursday, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Arena Pernambuco – Recife, Brazil
Germany -144, United States +650, Tie +125
Over/Under: 2.5 Goals (Over -109, Under -120)
After letting a chance to win Group G slip away with a goal allowed in the 95th minute, the United States and Germany are still in the driver's seat to advance to the next round when the two clubs meet on Thursday.
Here is the BetDSI Sportsbook preview of Thursday's match:
The Americans nearly had their second straight 2-1 victory to open the tournament, but a horrendous giveaway in midfield by Michael Bradley allowed Portugal to score the equalizer on the last kick of the game. Germany also had a chance to clinch the group, but had to settle for a 2-2 draw with heavy underdog Ghana. Both teams will advance on Thursday with a tie, and Germany (+4 goal differential) will likely get through to the Round of 16 even with a loss to the Americans. The United States could also lose and get through with a Ghana/Portugal tie or a Portugal win by less than three goals. But if the U.S. loses and Ghana wins by at least two goals, the Americans would be sent home. The United States will still be missing starting striker Jozy Altidore, who is likely finished for the 2014 World Cup because of a left hamstring injury. The head coach of the Americans knows this German side very well, as Jurgen Klinsmann has both played and coached Germany in past World Cups.
The Americans have been led by forward Clint Dempsey, who scored a goal in the first 30 seconds of the tournament opener, broke his nose later that game, and also scored at the 81st minute against Portugal with what looked to be the game-winner at the time. John Brooks Jr. and Jermaine Jones have the club's other two goals in the World Cup. USA has been outshot badly in this tournament by a combined total of 41-23, but are an even 17-17 in terms of shots on goal with nine corner kicks compared to 11 for their opponents. The Americans have also lost the time of possession in both matches, holding the ball for only 40% of the time versus Ghana and 48% of the time versus Portugal. But the United States has been whistled for only 23 fouls and two offsides in the World Cup and their only booked player was Jones picking up a yellow card versus Portugal. It will be interesting to see how star midfielder Michael Bradley bounces back from a match in which he failed to score a point-blank opportunity with the goalie out of net (his shot was blocked by a Portugal defender) and turned the ball over in the final minute to allow Portugal to force a tie. But the U.S. has to be confident in the play of goalie Tim Howard, who has made some brilliant saves this tournament, especially versus Portugal.
Germany has scored six times in the World Cup with Thomas Muller netting half of those goals against Portugal. Muller, who also has an assist during the tournament, has eight goals in eight career World Cup matches. Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and Miroslav Klose have the other tallies for the Germans, with Klose's tally marking his 15th career World Cup goal, which ties Ronaldo for the all-time record. Germany possessed the ball for 54% of the time versus Portugal and 59% of the time versus Ghana, and hold an 11-9 edge in corner kicks on their opponents. But Germany has been outshot by a hefty 34-24 margin in total shots for the tournament (19-15 in shots on goal). With the Germans needing only a tie to win this group, expect them to employ a more defensive game plan on Thursday.