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Will we see Germany and USA play out a ‘friendly’ game?



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Germany and USA need just 1 point from their final group match to qualify into the second round. For Germany, this was expected before the tournament started. For USA it would be quite an achievement with both Portugal and Ghana being highly-rated.

USA’s goal difference over Portugal looks to be enough to not need to worry about the European side catching them, but Ghana could push them with a victory over the 2006 semi-finalists.

In was that World Cup eight years ago that Jürgen Klinsmann was the head coach of Germany and Joachim Löw his assistant. On Thursday they will be on opposite sides.

The position of the group suits the two nations perfectly – Germany on top and a safer passage to the final. USA in second and progression to the knock-out stages.

Of course, Germany have history. 32 years ago yesterday was the anniversary of them playing out a 1-0 win over Austria to ensure both nations made it out of the group at the expense of Algeria.

Jürgen Klinsmann has claimed USA will do their best to win the match. Call me a cynic but I can’t see that happening in a million years. To me, this match has draw written all over it. And maybe they’ll let Thomas Müller score a couple to edge him closer to the Golden Boot.

Germany-USA draw is 3.20

Thomas Müller to score anytime is 1.70

Ghana-Portugal, both teams need to win to have a chance and both teams have seen a few goals in their games so far. I am expecting them to play out an exciting end of group match.

Ghana-Portugal both teams to score 1.50

Group H will also be complete on Thursday. Belgium face South Korea needing one point to confirm themselves as winners of the group.

Algeria take on Russia with the losers being eliminated from the World Cup. A draw favours the African side in this match who would then only be eliminated if South Korea won their game by 4 goals or more.

Fabio Capello’s Russia have looked woeful so far, scoring just one goal in their opening two matches and that with help of a spill from the South Korea goalkeeper.

That said, they’ve looked pretty organised defensively. A bit of magic from Eden Hazard was the difference last time out versus Belgium and in their opening game draw with South Korea they played the majority of that match wanting to avoid defeat more than they did to win. At least until Igor Akinfeev spilled the ball into his own net.

Algeria looked entertaining against South Korea but I don’t see them dominating the Russians from set pieces. I can see them sitting behind the ball and trying to catch Russia out on the counter given a draw will be enough for them but I’m actually favouring Russia to win this one.

Russia to beat Algeria is 2.00

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