GMS academy member Graham Leydon has decided to profile how he thinks each and every one of the 48 group-stage clashes will unfold at a South American showpiece which is now under 24 hours away, continuing with Group B.
Group of Death, part II. It's too easy to assume that Germany and Portugal will waltz beyond USA and Ghana into the knockout rounds.
Germany may finally win the World Cup under Joachim Low, but could have to do it the hard way. The talent within the squad is there to see, but Marco Reus will be a big loss and Miroslav Klose is the only recognised striker, which could be their downfall. However the entire team have goals in them, and the creativity in midfield will be there to help Klose shine in his last World Cup. Die Mannschaft arguably have a deeper squad than any other team in world football and can match anyone in terms of talent.
This will show as they will top the group with seven points, with impressive 3-0 and 2-0 wins against the USA and Ghana plus a 1-1 draw with Portugal. Klose will score two, with Thomas Muller scoring one, Lukas Podolski scoring one and Toni Kroos the other.
Portugal aren't as deep behind Cristiano Ronaldo as they've been in years past, but they're still pretty good in the technical department. It won't be enough in 2014 though. Despite the potential tough group that Portugal face, they should have enough to finish in second and then their knockout stages will decide how far they could go. They will win 2-0 against the USA and 2-1 against Ghana with a 1-1 draw against Germany. Cristiano Ronaldo will score three goals, Joao Moutinho will score one and Hugo Almeida the other.
The Ghanaians have consistently produced talent in the past five years and completely dominated Egypt during qualifiers. Kwadwo Asamoah is but the latest Black Star to emerge as a top player following his excellent season with Juventus. Despite the exciting talent though, Ghana they will finish with three points, succumbing to a 2-0 loss against Germany and 2-1 loss to Portuga. A 2-0 win against the USA will restore some pride. Asamoah Gyan will score two and Kwadwo Asamoah will score the other.
While the USA may be considered an improving team, this group will show their limitations. Jurgen Klinsmann has built a solid, deep squad with a very bright future, even if the 2014 World Cup will come too soon for players such as Aron Johannsson and Julian Green. The loss to Belgium last year temporarily emphasised a problem with quicker wingers, but Klinsmann was able to make the necessary alterations, with no such issues to be seen against Mexico.
With veteran international players such as Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley all at the German's disposal, the USA will make life hard on anyone in Group G. Despite this they will still lose 2-0 to Portugal and Ghana and then also suffer a 3-0 loss to Germany will wrap things up.
Predicted final table:
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Germany 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 7
Portugal 3 2 1 1 5 1 +4 7
Ghana 3 1 0 2 3 4 -1 3
USA 3 0 0 3 0 7 -7 0
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