Germany vs Australia – outsider Socceroos have the experience
Australia don’t fancy their chances much in this one – “If they offered us a draw now we’d bite their hands off,” said their captain Lucas Neill.
However, the Germans have some long streaks to maintain – they haven’t lost a group game since 1994, and have won their last five opening World Cup matches. If those records were to come to an end, you can get Lucas Neill’s hand-biting draw at 3/1 or a Socceroo win at 6/1.
The Australians will take encouragement from the fact that the Germans are fielding a lot of inexperienced players. This is the youngest German squad for 76 years, and new captain Phillip Lahm believes this is the best German side he’s ever played in. With Michael Ballack missing, though, he’s going to be pushed to find many people to agree with him.
Amongst Germany’s inexperienced players is Manuel Neuer in goal who has replaced the injured Rene Adler, and has only five caps. You can get Australia to score first at 12/5.
Germany are expected to stick with Klose up front, top scorer in the last World Cup, in spite of a miserable season for Bayern Munich in which he scored only three league goals. If he’s dropped, Cacau will most likely replace him.
Manchester City’s Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker will probably start in the centre of defence, with Sami Khedira replacing Michael Ballack in midfield. The Germans are evens to keep a clean sheet.
Australia lost 3-1 to the USA in their last game – will they go over by the same score to the Germans at 9/1?