Starting teams and betting advice as Germany meet Portugal in their opening game of this World Cup. Kick off from the Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador is at 5pm.
Both sides will be favorites to progress to the knockout stages and this encounter will be pivotal to both team’s chances of topping the group.
Germany finished top of their qualification group above Sweden. They finished with a record of 9 wins and 1 draw. Their most recent friendly result was a comprehensive 6-1 win against Armenia. Portugal finished 2nd in their qualification group with a record of 6 wins, 3 draws and 1 defeat. They
secured their place in Brazil via a 4-2 on aggregate play-off win against Sweden. Thir most recent friendly win was a 5-1 win against Ireland.
The Arsenal playmaker will be key for the Germans especially with the loss of Marco Reus through injury. Ozil announced himself to the world stage at the last World Cup when he was nominated for the Golden Ball as the tournaments best performer. The 25 year old finished the qualification campaign with 8 goals and was Germany’s top scorer. German fans will hope that Ozil can showcase his sublime passing skills in their opening encounter.
Ronaldo has enjoyed a remarkable season at Real Madrid winning the Champions league and Cop Del Rey titles. The current ballon d’or winner has scored 49 goals in 111 caps for Portugal. The former Manchester United attacker will be playing in his 3rd World Cup and will be hoping to add to his goal tally of only 2 goals. Ronaldo played in a recent friendly math against Ireland so he is expected to be fit for their opener against Germany and Portugal will hope that the Madeira born attacker is at his best at this year’s World Cup.
Germany are without Marco Reus through injury but Manual Neur and Bastian Schweinsteiger are expected to be fit. Expect Germany to line up with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mats Hummels partnered by Arsenal defender Pers Mertesacker. Captain Phillip Lahm is expected to play in a defensive role or at right back to marshal the threat of Ronaldo. Veteran striker Miroslav Klose is likely to start upfront.
Portugal are likely to go with a 4-3-3 formation with a front three of Ronaldo on the left and Manchester United winger Nani on the right. Hugo Almeida is likely to be starting as a lone striker. Real Madrid defender Pepe is likely to be fit and team mate Fabio Contraeo is likely to start at left back.
Germany will go in as favorites to this game and they do seem to possess more quality and strength on the bench but if Cristiano Ronaldo is on form he is unstoppable when given space. We might see the first draw at this year’s World Cup however I think that Portugal may get the win in what would be seen as an upset. Ronaldo to score and Portugal to win is 16/5 in what looks a tempting bet.