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USA vs. Germany - FIFA World Cup 2014 Preview

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USA vs. Germany
Match Date: 26 June 2014 (local time)
Match Venue: Itaipava Arena Pernambuco (Recife, Pernambuco)

USA

USA dealt brilliantly with Altidore’s injury by allowing Dempsey more license to get forward and cause havoc in the opposition box. Jermaine Jones’ second-half stunner just served to underline an impressive performance by the young midfielder, while Kyle Beckerman proved a persistent thorn in the side of the Portuguese. The most impressive aspect of this American side is their inexhaustible work ethic. Klinsmann is certainly aware of the fact that his players may not be world-beaters, so he has managed to instil an insatiable desire in the side. Fabian Johnson has offered an excellent attacking avenue in his foraging runs down the right flank, while Zusi offered some exciting playmaking throughout the match. Alejandro Bedoya was replaced by DeAndre Yedlin in a change that may be carried over into this match. Yedlin offered slightly more industry and will be necessary against a mobile, dynamic German side. Clint Dempsey will be looking to exploit the perceived lack in pace of Per Mertesacker, an area which Klinsmann will no doubt have identified in his preparation. USA’s efficacy really depends on exactly which German side decides to pitch up.

Germany

It was a case of second-match syndrome for a German side that looked nigh-on impregnable in their first match against the Portuguese. The side looked generally sluggish in possession, with Lahm and Khedira forming an extremely unconvincing deeper midfield partnership. Joachim Louw will not make the mistake of underestimating the USA; America won their last friendly encounter. I believe there is one player whose selection would correct the entire balance of the side: Bastian Schweinsteiger. The modern day exemplar of Franz Beckenbauer’s ‘Kaizer’ role, Schweinsteiger was not utilised against Ghana until the final twenty minutes, as a precautionary measure surrounding a leg injury. Schweinsteiger would command the sweeper role with far more assurance than captain Lahm, which would take pressure off Sami Khedira. Lahm could move back into one of the full-back positions, effectively alleviating Germany of the undesirable scenario of having four natural centre-backs covering their back four. Howedes will probably make way as Schweinsteiger’s inclusion will add both defensive and midfield cohesion to the side, freeing Ozil and Kroos to support Muller and Gotze up the pitch.

World Cup 2014 Betting tips: Germany

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