May 03, 2010
Group D is home to Australia and the Aussies will be looking to impress again on the world stage after their unlucky Round 2 exit in 2006.
Australia has to contend with a tough group that contains Germany, Serbia and Ghana with the winner of this group to play the Group C runner-up, while the second placed team in this group will face the winner of Group C.
Australia exceeded their own expectations in the 2006 World Cup with a come from behind 3-1 win over Japan setting alight a remarkable run that ended with a 1-0 loss to Italy in the second round via a controversial penalty decision.
Coach Pim Verbeek has been meticulous in his planning and Australia qualified for the tournament quite easily.
Much will be expected of their overseas contingent to do most of the damage, with players such as Tim Cahill, Harry Kewell and Mark Schwarzer the catalysts for their country, and they will have to make the most of their chances to get through to the second round.
Australia defeated New Zealand (2-1) and Denmark (1-0) in friendly warm up matches before losing to the United States (3-1) in their final practice match. Dario Vidosic, Brett Holman and Josh Kennedy scored goals for the Socceroos along the way.
Germany has an outstanding record in the World Cup, being a three time winner in 1954, 1974 and 1990, plus they have finished runner-up on four times and third on three occasions.
Coach Joachim Loew will be doing his best to ensure Germany’s continued World Cup excellence, with quality players Miroslav Klose, Cacua and Mesut Oezilat leading the way. Germany captain Michael Ballack will miss the World Cup due to a leg injury suffered during Chelsea’s win over Portsmouth in the 2010 FA Cup at Wembley.
Germany has been finding the net in good style in recent games with wins over Malta (3-0) and Hungary (3-0) last month before rounding out their practice games with a victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina (3-1).
Cacau kicked 3 goals during the final three friendlies with Bastian Schweinsteiger scoring twice from the spot.
The Germans are traditionally hard to score against at any time and against inferior teams they can often be clinical. They are favourites to win this group and deservedly so.
Serbia (formerly known as Yugoslavia) has twice finished semi-finalists in 1930 and 1962 when known as Yugoslavia, and the Serbs have a strong defensive unit under the guidance of coach Radomir Antic and will be hard to score against in this group.
In recent friendly matches Serbia lost to New Zealand (1-0) then drew with Poland (0-0) before a goal fest ensured against Cameroon (4-3) in their last friendly outing.
Milos Krasic, Dejan Stankovic, Nenad Milijas and Marko Pantelic all chipped in with goals against Cameroon.
Players to watch out for are Milan Jovanovic, Milos Krasic and Nemanja Vidic and Serbia are widely considered to be the second team through to the next round from this group.
Ghana were one of the surpise packets of the last World Cup when they made it through to the second round before bowing out to the Brazilians by 3 goals.
Coach Milovan Rajevac will be hoping to take the talented Africans even further this time around, especially playing on their own soil.
The Ghanians have the silky skills of Michael Essien behind them, with Richard Kingson and Sulley Muntari other talented players in the squad.
Ghana lost to the Netherlands (4-1) and then defeated Latvia (1-0) with Asamoah Gyan and Owusu-Abeyie Quincy both finding the net.
Ghana will have plenty of African fans and most will be expecting them to go the furthest of the African teams.
World Cup Group D Predictions
1. Germany 2. Australia 3. Ghana 4. Serbia
Germany has one of their youngest squads ever competing at this tournament and they have the class and pedigree to win this group. The Germans record on the world stage is quality, being a three time winner of this event, and they should rightly win this group but they face some tough opposition and won’t have an easy passage through.
Australia has had a fairly good preparation and they have many of the same players that took them to the second round of the 2006 World Cup and that experience will assist them greatly here. The first group match against Germany is crucial for Australia and if luck goes their way then they can make it through to the next round.
Ghana are rated one of the African sides most likely and they face a three way battle with Australia and Serbia for second spot should Germany top the group as expected. The African team have the talent to finish top two but we expect them to finish third just behind the Aussies.
Serbia too has a more than capable squad that can make it through the group stage but they can’t all go through and we are opting for the Serbians to compete well but miss out on a spot to the next round.
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World Cup Group D First Match
Germany meet Australia in the opening match of Group D and it will be held in Durban.
|Jun 18th||Germany||vs.||Serbia||Mandela Bay||9:30pm||Odds|
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Filed Under: 2010 World Cup