Europe’s Best Face Off At World Cup

Image courtesy of sports.yahoo.com
Portugal's World Cup hopes hinge on Cristiano Ronaldo. Image courtesy of sports.yahoo.com

Germany Flag

Germany v Portugal



Fonte Nova Arena, Salvador
Tuesday June 17 – 1:30 AM (AEST)


Portugal Flag


Two giants of European football clash on Tuesday morning when Germany and Portugal face-off at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador.

Germany’s hopes of winning a fourth World Cup took a massive dent a week ago when star midfielder Marco Reus was ruled out of the tournament after suffering an injury in his side’s warm up win over Armenia. Scans on the Borussia Dortmund playmaker’s ankle revealed he had torn ligaments, consequently ending his hopes of lining up in Brazil. His absence means the expectation will be shifted to Arsenal’s number 10 Mesut Ozil, who shone in Germany’s 2010 World Cup campaign. Ozil was out of form for Arsenal in the EPL last season, but there’s no doubting his talent. If he can rekindle the form he produced in South Africa, Germany will go deep into this tournament.

Germany’s first assignment will be to see off a Portugal side driven by the world’s current best player Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star enjoyed a stellar season for his club and steered them to Champions League glory. Ronaldo is at the prime of his career right now, netting 47 goals in all competitions and topping it off by winning the 2013 Ballon d’Or. There was some doubt about the charismatic striker lining up against Germany on Tuesday because of a thigh injury. However, he's been declared fit to play, a massive boost for Paulo Bento’s men. The big question surrounding this match, and Portugal’s World Cup campaign as a whole, is whether Ronaldo’s heroics will be enough to see them over the line. They have had a relatively solid build up, with a 5-1 drubbing of Ireland last week the perfect platform. But this is a real step in class.

This match may well prove to be the game that sorts out who finishes on top of the group, and both coaches will know the significance. With Ghana and the USA also in Group G, it’s expected these are the two teams which will progress. Interestingly, these two team play quite the opposite style of football; the Germans work as a team and execute free-flowing football, whereas the Portuguese aim to get it to their talisman Ronaldo in the hope the star striker can work some magic. The Germans are expected to win this match, and despite the brilliance of Ronaldo, they should be too good for Portugal.

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