Today’s games could have been that bit more interesting if we had Ghana facing Nigeria and the USA playing Iran, if only from a geopolitical point of view. It’s still an interesting evening’s action which kicks off with the biggest game of the day, those reliable Germans against the less than reliable Portuguese. After that Iran could get the first big spanking of the World Cup against Nigeria and the the USA and Ghana feature in Group G’s 3rd/4th place play-off.
Germany v Portugal – 5pm | Salvador
- Miroslav Klose saves his best form for World Cup years. He has 35 goals in 46 games played in his three previous World Cup years. 2002 – 17 games, 12 goals. 2006 – 17 games, 13 goals. 2010 – 12 games, 10 goals.
- Germany have beaten Portugal in their last three meetings at major tournaments (Euro 2004 & 2012 and World Cup 2006)
- Germany have been semi-finalists at the World Cup in 2006, 2010 and at Euro 2012.
Iran v Nigeria – 8pm | Curitiba
- Nigeria have failed to win any of their friendly games since qualifying last November.
- Iran have just one won from their previous nine World Cup games.
- Nigeria are without a win in their last eight World Cup games
- Carlos Queiroz’s Iranian side play with one up front and rely on their defensive capabilities.
- This could end up being the worst game of the tournament.
Ghana v USA – 11pm | Natal
- This is the third straight World Cup these nations have faced each other, Ghana winning both previous games 2-1 (AET in 2010).
- Asamoah Gyan is two goals away from becoming the joint top African World Cup scorer with Roger Milla on six goals.
- Despite being labelled the Group of Death, FIFA have sadly confirmed that the teams who fail to qualify will not be put to death. At least not without a sizeable contribution to Sepp Blatter’s re-election fund.