Group G is a very exciting group indeed. Every World Cup has a “Group of Death” and this year this group is just as deadly as ever. The “Group of Death” is called that because every team in the group is strong and under normal circumstances all four would be expected to advance. Since they are all in the same group, however two will have their hopes and dreams shattered early. This go round the “Group of Death” consists of The United States, Germany, Ghana, and Portugal. Very tough to call but I know that every game will be a nail biter. All the teams in the group have had some history playing against one another so the storyline is all about redemption or continuing to bully little brother.
I expect Germany to somehow walk out of the brawl at the bar relatively unharmed. The Germans have it all; size, speed, talent, and tact. Portugal I see finishing second mainly due to the football acumen of Cristiano Ronaldo. “Mr. Take a Bow” can goad any team to the next round. He just has a bad habit of scoring goals. The United States are back in the “Group of Death” yet again but have the belief they can shock the world and rise from the ashes. The Ghanaians have a very strong team as well, and can play a beautiful brand of football just as good as anyone. This will be fun to see how this group unravels.
Germany: The Germans are a favorite to win the tournament. Germany has a prolific history of winning World Cups and also advancing deep in the tournament. In most World Cups, the Germans usually finish third or better winning the Jules Rimet trophy three times. This time around the squad is brimming with talent. So much so that it is hard to pinpoint one guy that really changes the face of a game more than another.
I’ll have to start with the world’s best goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. He is a boss between the posts and covers a multitude of angles. Mario Goetze is a splendid young winger who can create something out of nothing. Goetze has goals in him and is extremely tough to contain. Phillip Lahm is one of the best midfielders/defenders in the world. He is a great tackler and world class server of bendy curvy balls into the box for his teammates. Mesut Ozil is a playmaker with a deadly left foot. He will look to set up his teammates for easy chances. Ozil plays the game very simply and doesn’t do too much but is very effective with how he passes the ball around. Thomas Mueller is a highly overrated player. Mueller has an addiction to goal scoring. He isn’t the flashiest player but he always gets the job done. Other notable players are midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, midfielder Andre Scurrle, prolific World Cup goal scorer Miroslav Klose, and defender Per Mertesacker and Mat Hummels.
Ghana: Ghana in the past eight years has become top dog in Africa and is a viable threat to making a good cup run. They play with a lot of spirit, flair, and togetherness. Ghana has a tough road but their athleticism can help create some chances and even deny some chances.
For Ghana it’s all about forward Asamoah Gyan. He will need to put away the chances he will get if Ghana want to escape the Group of Death. Gyan has speed, quickness, agility, and a knack for scoring goals. They will also need Kevin Prince Boateng to provide a huge lift from his attacking mid position. Prince Boateng has all the tools to carve up a defense with his scoring and passing ability. Andre Ayew is another ultra-skillful player that always seems to be moving at a 1000 miles per hour. Ayew is great at beating defenders off the dribble and finding little pockets to shoot. Veteran Michael Essien will need to keep Ghana calm and poise during hectic portions of the match in midfield. He is a strong leader and a great footballer. Other notable players are Sully Muntari the left footed central midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah midfield/defense, and Christian Atsu attacking on the flanks.
Portugal: For Portugal it is all about the world’s best player Cristiano Ronaldo. He is already a soccer icon and his play on the pitch game after game continues to cement that title. Cristiano is cat quick and his moves pose more questions for defenders than answers. Ronaldo is not afraid of the big moment and he is arguably the deadliest striker. Portugal also has another flashy midfielder who is known for his amazing strikes and his awesome backflips after his brilliant goals. Luis Nani will need to be very sharp in order to get some attention away from Cristiano “Lebronaldo”. Nani has a ton of skills and will need to assert himself for Portugal to do well. Joao Moutinho will be the general in the midfield making sure the attack slows down when it needs to and trying to link up with the blisteringly fast Ronaldo in spaces behind the defense. For Portugal to do well the defense will have to be pretty flawless. Pepe will be the man responsible for keeping the backline together. He is a great defender and a pit-bull when it comes to getting back what he deems as his. Other notable players are holding mid Raul Meireles, target forward Hugo Almeida, left back Fabio Coentrao, and center midfielder Miguel Veloso.
United States: The United States have a very daunting task ahead of them and will need to be at their best to get out of the “Armageddon Group” of the cup. They will have to play relying on their timely ability to counter attack with speed as a unit and also try to keep possession of the ball longer than they have in the past.
“Captain America” is where the hopes and dreams of advancing starts. Clint Dempsey is a great footballer and has an array of ways he can score in his repertoire. He has a little bit of pizzazz and flair on the ball mixed with a nice balance of grit and toughness. Michael Bradley will have to continue to orchestrate in the center of midfield. He is an engine that seems to have endless amounts of energy and that will be needed for the Americans. Bradley is more than capable of controlling the tempo of a match. Jozy Altidore is a physically brawn forward up top and will need to use his tools and savvy ability to score for the U.S. to have a chance. World class keeper Tim Howard is a superb keeper with outstanding agility and will have to be chasing goose eggs in the cup for the Americans to survive the “Russian Roulette” of Group G. – BoSo