Following the stunning emphatic win over Portugal in its opening World Cup encounter, Germany will attempt to maintain the strong start in the competition against a Ghana team that went down late against the USA in its first match. After Thomas Muller’s hat trick earlier in the competition had helped Joachim Loew’s men to a formidable 4-0 success in their 100th World Cup finals match, the Germans would be looking to their hitman to come up with the goals.
The Africans leaked goals early and late against the Americans, which eventually resulted in a 2-1 defeat. Inbetween times, they had been the dominant side, but Andre Ayew’s fine 82nd minute strike was not even enough to salvage a point. Having lost out at the quarterfinal stage in South Africa 2010, the Black Stars need two outstanding displays if they are to avoid an earlier exit this summer. During that campaign four years ago, they met the Germans in the group stage, with Mesut Ozil’s goal on the hour mark sufficient to consign them to a 1-0 loss.
Historically, both teams have performed well in the group stage of the competition. In both previous World Cup finals experiences, Ghana has managed to negotiate the opening round of the competition, while Germany, which has gone all the way on three previous occasions, has lost only one of its previous 19 group matches. Key midfielder Michael Essien has been toiling with a toe injury for Akwasi Appiah’s side but is fit to start, while it is hoped that Majeed Waris, who enjoyed a successful conclusion on a personal level to the season with Valenciennes, will shake off an injury to feature.
Germany, meanwhile, has an injury concern in Mats Hummels, who went off during the Portugal clash, although it is hoped he will be fit to play. While Sami Khedira is fit and Jerome Boateng, whose brother Kevin-Prince will play for Ghana, is set to wear a splint following a thumb injury, Bastian Schweinsteiger will have to wait for his chance on the bench in all likelihood. Low’s side has a strong stranglehold in its previous encounters with African opposition, having lost only one of their six matches, and with World Cup specialist Thomas Muller – boasting seven goals in his last four outings in the competition – and Miroslav Klose, who remains on the brink of equalling the tournament’s all-time record, in tow, the Germans are favorites to push their opponents a little closer to the exit door.
Germany have won their two previous games against Ghana, in a friendly on 14 April 1993 (6-1) and in the World Cup group stages on 23 June 2010 (1-0).
All seven of Germany’s goals against Ghana have been scored from the 60th minute onwards.
Germany’s only defeat against an African side at the World Cup was against Algeria on 16 June 1982 (1-2), winning four and drawing one respectively.
Germany have only lost one of their last 19 games in the group stages of the World Cup, it was against Serbia on 18 June 2010 (0-1), winning 14 and drawing four.
Ghana have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last five World Cup games. They have conceded just six goals in the process, however.
Germany have opened their last seven World Cups with a victory; the last time they failed to win their opening game was back in 1986, when they drew 1-1 with Uruguay.
However Germany have won their second World Cup group game on just one occasion since 1994 (D3 L1), it was in 2006 v Poland (1-0). In 2010 they lost 1-0 to Serbia.
Four of the last six World Cup goals Ghana have conceded have come from set-pieces, including the late winner for the USA in their opener.
Miroslav Klose currently has 14 World Cup goals, only Brazilian star Ronaldo has more (15).
Thomas Müller has scored eight goals in seven World Cup games and seven in his last four.