Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac expects to have his first-choice centrebacks back to face Germany in the Black Stars' final Group D match on Wednesday. Skipper John Mensah and fellow stopper Isaac Vorsah both missed the 1-1 draw with Australia on Saturday through injury, forcing Rajevac to rely on teenage duo Jonathan Mensah and Lee Addy in the heart of his defence.
Rajevac revealed that both experienced defenders might have been able to play against Australia if he had been willing to risk them missing out on the Germany game. "John felt a pain in his calf muscle and with all the injuries he had this season, we did not want to take an unnecessary risk playing him," Rajevac told AFP. "But he will be fine to play against Germany."
Vorsah was sidelined by a knee problem. "We rested him because we know the game against Germany is the most important for us," Rajevac said.
Ghana will go into the match at Soccer City needing a point to reach the last 16 and it will be a night to remember for Kevin-Prince Boateng, who was born and brought up in Germany. The Portsmouth midfielder represented Germany at every youth level but opted to play for the country of his father, unlike his younger brother Jerome, who is in the German squad.
Rajevac said he had been delighted by Kevin-Prince Boateng's energetic displays in Ghana's matches against Serbia, whom they beat 1-0, and the Australians. "His contribution to the team has been excellent," the coach added. "He has been running a lot and he is a really versatile player. We've gained a lot from having him, he is a very dangerous midfielder. Obviously it is going to be difficult for him to play against Germany, so we have to talk to him a lot and prepare him."
John Mensah believes Germany will be feeling under intense pressure going into Wednesday's match after a 1-0 defeat by Serbia punctured the optimism generated by their 4-0 demolition of ten-man Australian in their opening game.
"I don't think there is pressure on us," he said. "They will probably have more pressure because they are favourites. We all know Germany has a good team, but we believe we have a good team as well. We have to keep things tight, stay compact and I'm sure we can win the match."