Whether you want to call this the Group of Death or not, it doesn’t really matter. From top to bottom, you won’t find a better group. For starters, the United States won the final round of CONCACAF qualifying and are ranked No. 14 in the FIFA World Rankings, yet are the underdog in this group according to the odds. Ghana’s odds are nearly the same, even as the No. 38 ranked team in the world.
Here are the current odds to win group G from 5 dimes sportsbook
That said, the headlines for this group will still be dominated by two European teams in Germany and Portugal. Germany is often considered one of the best in the world and Portugal is led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Starting with the USA, Jurgen Klinsmann got the worst possible draw in his first World Cup with the team. After a Round of 16 exit in South Africa, the Americans will be hard-pressed to reach that level again. Last year, they had a 12-Game winning streak that was started by a 4-3 friendly win over Germany (mostly second teamers). While it’s tough to gauge a team’s success from playing in friendlies and CONCACAF matches, you can’t deny wins.
The problem for USA it seems like every year is that they can’t Scoreconsistently. Jozy Altidore will likely be the first forward choice, but with how he’s performed at Sunderland this year, it’s hard to trust him. Klinsmann will have to hope Clint Dempsey and LAndon Donovan play well in what is probably their last World Cup. The midfield will be anchored by Michael Bradley and a likely interchanging unit that hasn’t been decided yet. The same goes for the defense, but Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler look to be solid picks. Tim Howard is the man in net, and Brad Guzan is a fine backup.
Germany is slated to win this group and are a top contender to go far in the Tournament. The Germans have beaten Portugal and Ghana in recent major Tournaments, which should give them even more confidence in this group. In qualifying, they scored 36 goals in 10 matches and only dropped two points. There’s no question Joachim Low will have his team rolling from the start.
Germany has the best overall team in this group and it’s not even close. Even without a true consistent forward as of late with Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez (not in squad) battling injuries, they can still use a number of guys up front from Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller to Toni Kroos and LUkas Podolski. Then you have Bastian SChweinsteiger and Sami Khedira to hold things down. In the back is Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, who is one of the best keepers in the business. And then their defense is full of talent with Philipp LAhm, Jerome Boateng and Per Mertesacker leading the way.
Portugal is the next favorite of the group even though they barely qualified for the Tournament, needing a playoff win over Sweden. The oddsmakers see the name Cristiano Ronaldo and automatically bump Portugal’s chances up a bit and for good reason. Despite battling injury as of late, Ronaldo is one of the best in the world and can create goals out of dust.
It’s a wonder what formation the Portuguese will use, if they put Ronaldo up top or go with Helder Postiga or Hugo Almeida up front. Nani, Joao Moutinho and Raul Meireles make up a stout midfield, however this team always struggles with consistency. Defensively, they are average, but Pepe and Fabio Coentrao are solid choices as long as they are healthy.
As said before, Ghana is actually favored above the United States which makes the opening match for these teams extremely important. If there is a loser, they will likely be done in this group. Remember, Ghana crept by USA in the last World Cup in the Round of 16.
Ghana has a wide range of talent as usual with Asamoah Gyan, Michael Essien, Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari filling out the squad. Their defense will be the main problem without tons of experience. Samuel Inkoom and Jonathan Menseh may be the best choices, but both are still young.
It’s hard to bet against Germany in this situation, no matter who’s on the other end of the field. The question comes in the second spot where it’s easy to question Portugal’s inconsistency, but do you want to put money against Cristiano Ronaldo? The answer to that is no. The United States are a nice upset pick to advance to the next round, just don’t put your life savings on it.