Group D: Germany, but it won't be easy

Group D

Germany

Australia

Serbia

Ghana

Any group with the Socceroos in it has to be a success in my book. But, alas, the Aussies will be hard-pressed to advance here. They open with Germany on Sunday and it just might be a foreboding matchup for them. German captain Michael Ballack is the team’s strength in the midfield, but is he getting a little long in the tooth already? Maybe. Miroslav Klose has 10 goals in the last two World Cups, five more would tie him with Ronaldo’s record 15. Wins for the Germans over top-notch nations have been hard to come by since 1990. They beat Argentina (’06)and England (’96), but both victories were on penalties.

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The rest of the Group is marginal. The Aussies have been here only twice, but then again they have only fielded teams spanning the past three decades. They use a 4-2-3-1 formation. But scoring has been a problem…Four years ago it was Serbia-Montenegro, now it’s Serbia and maybe the biggest assest is its coach, Raddy Antic. He’s coached Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid so, yes, he knows what he is talking about…Finally, there is Ghana with Michael Essien. Defense is their game and they play tough, tackling football all over the field. They can be beaten, but they also can be intimidating…

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Group winner: Germany; advancing: Serbia