Germany coach Joachim Low is revelling in the pressure surrounding his side's crucial FIFA World Cup™ Group D encounter against Ghana tonight.
Low's team made a stunning start to the competition with a 4-0 victory over Australia in Durban but then suffered a 1-0 loss to Serbia, leaving them needing a win over the Black Stars at Soccer City to be sure of a last-16 place. Germany have proved masters of coping with such pressure in tournament football in the past, however, and Low said: "I am under a certain tension but I also see this as something positive.
"I don't see this as a burden - I like challenges. This evening will be such a situation but it has happened before in my career various times. I feel more joy than anxiety. I'm not the only coach who likes big games, big contests, where everything is at stake. Millions will watch the game and I think about 85,000 will be in the stadium. Of course I feel a lot of tension but also excitement - it's the same in other games."
Low is equally confident that his young stars like Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Thomas Muller and Holger Badstuber will not crumble on the big occasion. "When I talk to the players I do not get the impression they are nervous or worried after the defeat against Serbia," he said.
"Although it is very young, the team has this confidence and inner conviction that it can beat Ghana. think we've digested and worked on the defeat to Serbia in the last two or three days. We're focused and we've prepared for the game against Ghana - a match which will not be easy."
Cacau is expected to play up front for Germany in place of the suspended Miroslav Klose. Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac said: "I think the ejection (and suspension) of Klose will have an impact on the tactics of the German team. They are an excellent team, a strong football power and we are sure they will play at an excellent pace up to the last minute. They don't have a weakness, but maybe they could have a psychological problem because it's a 'final' game for Germany - they have to win. I will have to see how this will be reflected on the pitch, but Germany are one of the best teams worldwide."