Three-time world champions Germany had hoped for a rather different scenario ahead of their maiden appearance at Soccer City in Johannesburg. After beating Australia 4-0 but then losing 1-0 to Serbia in their Group D fixtures to date, however, Joachim Low's team are under severe pressure against the Black Stars, who beat the Serbs 1-0 and drew 1-1 with the Socceroos. The young German side enter the contest knowing they must win in order to be absolutely sure of a last-16 berth, whereas Ghana require only a draw to guarantee progress. In a section with everything still to play for, the parallel fixture pits Australia against Serbia.
Ghana and Germany have crossed swords just once in the past, Germany cruising to a 6-1 victory in Bochum back in 1993 – a match that the Africans actually led at the break. An intriguing subplot is the potential meeting of the Boateng brothers. While the Palacios brothers have lined up alongside each other for Honduras, Jerome Boateng of Germany and Ghana's Kevin-Prince may line up against one another in Soccer City. "Obviously, the Germany game is a special one for me. But I can promise the Ghana fans this – I play to win, even against my brother, or my father or mother for that matter," Kevin-Prince recently told FIFA.com. However, on current form, the pair are unlikely to go head-to-head on the field itself. Kevin-Prince has played all but a few minutes of his country's games so far, but Jerome has yet to taste any action.
The Black Stars are pinning their goalscoring hopes on 24-year-old Gyan, scorer of both their goals at the tournament so far from the penalty spot. The striker is likely to be marked by Per Mertesacker, solid at the finals up to now and starting the match with a definite height advantage at 1.98 metres to Gyan's 1.86.
0 – Three-time FIFA World Cup™ winners Germany have never failed to progress beyond the first group round of the tournament.
What they said
"There's no reason to change anything. We have to keep playing the same way. We played badly in 2008, but we’ve been good in both our games here at the World Cup. The pressure's on now, but there's always pressure in any case. We're well able to cope, and that includes the younger players. I'm not in the slightest bit worried that we might not win the game. We'll neutralise Ghana," Philipp Lahm, Germany captain
"I've spent all of my career in Germany. This is a very big match, and it's even more significant because of the permutations in the group. They're a strong and experienced team, but they have weaknesses in defence. We'll definitely create a chance or two," Hans Sarpei, Ghana defender
Voice of the fans
"I hope Germany beat Ghana easily. There has to be a chance of that, as Ghana have yet to score from open play, so they don’t look so good in attack. I'm saying it'll end 2-0 to Germany!" VfB4Life (Germany), FIFA.com user
"There's something a lot of the Germans are forgetting or don't know: Ghana's coach is Serbian – and that could be a headache. For the Germans, it'll be like banging their heads against a brick wall." serbus (Austria)
Have your say
Can Germany avert a disastrous and historic early exit? Will the Black Stars make it through to the last 16?