Germany v Portugal Preview

Group G | Monday 16 June | Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador | 18:00




Group G kicks-off with arguably the biggest match of the opening round of fixtures as Portugal take on Germany seeking revenge for their elimination at the last eight stage four years ago.

To Win (90mins)
Germany 11/10 
Draw 9/4 
Portugal 26/10

GERMANY

Germany go into the World Cup with high hopes as they look to end their trophy drought on the international stage.

The Germans were unbeaten in their 10 qualifying games, winning nine of them to top their group. Joachim Low knows there is much more at stake at the World Cup than simply ending his country's 18-year title drought in a major competition.

The finals in Brazil could represent the softly-spoken 54-year-old's last chance to lift a trophy with the national team, despite having a contract until 2016.

Germany have beaten Portugal in their last three meetings. Their most recent victory came at the Euro 2012 with Mario Gomez scoring the only goal of the match. Although the Germans have a good record against the Portuguese, they face a tough task to keep Portugal’s danger man Cristiano Ronaldo quiet.

The creative spark for Germany will be Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil. Gifted with some of the finest skills in modern football, capable of taking pace off the ball or slicing defences open with sensational passes, Ozil is indispensable for the Germans.

Apart from dictating play in the last third of the pitch, the attacking midfielder also enjoys scoring, having netted 17 goals in 52 internationals.

Arsenal’s record signing was also Germany’s  top scorer in the qualifiers, snatching eight goals. While they are spoilt for choice in the attacking department, Low has yet to find a consistent central defensive pairing with Per Mertesacker, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Benedkit Hoewedes all competing but struggling to lock down a definite starting berth.

Success in Brazil would give Low a place among the pantheon of German greats while failure could reduce him to a mere footnote on the list of coaches - despite his winning record.

The Eagles are capable of beating any team on their day but face a stern test against a dangerous Portuguese side. 

PORTUGAL

Since the great Eusebio guided Portugal to a 3rd place finish in the 1966 World Cup, the Seleccao have failed to excell at the world stage.

Apart from a semi-final appearance in 2006, Portugal have been disappointing and given the talent at their disposal over the years, the European side should have been doing much better.

The current crop of Portugal players is arguably one of the most talented sides heading to Brazil, but there are reservations as to whether they are capable of lifting the World Cup.

An opener against Germany is the perfect chance for the Portuguese to prove their doubters wrong by hitting the ground running.

It is obvious that Portugal have one of the best attacks in the world but have a reputation of being suspect at the back and since the arrival of Paulo Bento, he has certainly transformed the side into a much more balanced unit.

Bento has unhappy memories of the World Cup as a player, as his last ever international match for Portugal was a disappointing group stage loss to South Korea back in 2002 and the defeat dumped his side out of the competition.

Now as a manager, Bento will surely be desperate to make amends in Brazil, with the Germans his first hurdle. Ronaldo will undoubtedly be one of the main showmen of the World Cup.

He has underperformed in big tournaments in the past, scoring only once at Euro 2008 and the World Cups in Germany and South Africa.

But he upped his game in Euro 2012, scoring three times before Portugal were knocked out by eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.

He will be a thorn in Germany’s defence and few would bet against him finding the net. With 109 caps, 18 fewer than Portugal's record holder Luis Figo, the Madrid star seems set to break all the national team records.

Portugal certainly stand a chance of winning the World Cup but in order for that to happen, they will require their talented but inconsistent players to be at their best as well as depend on a slight element of luck.

Betting Prediction: GERMANY 11/10
Germany are one of the favourites to lift the World Cup and few would bet against them winning their group. Portugal remain their biggest threat in the group but Joachim Low’s side have enough quality to oust their opponents and should get an important victory here. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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