Germany are one of the hot favorites to win the World Cup and will start their campaign against a strong Portugal side.
Last time the two teams collided in a difficult group of Euro 2012 with Netherlands and Denmark but qualified for the Knockout stage. With Ghana and USA, the group is by no means easy and tonight’s result is going to be significant.
Portugal have only defeated Germany 3 times, last win coming way back in Euro 2000. Their probable starting XIs can be viewed in the links provided below.
Here are the three key battles that may decide the game between Germany vs Portugal.
Lahm vs Ronaldo
The battle of captains. Ronaldo is fit and ready to captain his national side against Germany but will be be at his best coming back from injury, we shall see. Lahm has mainly played midfield role for Bayern Munich but expect the Kaiser to start at right back and stop Cristiano from what he did to his club not so long ago at the Allianz Arena.
Ozil vs Carvalho
Arsenal playmaker had an injury hit first season in England and was far from his best as he was with Real Madrid. However, with more help in the internatonal side, Ozil can get more time on the ball to provide killer final ball. Sporting midfielder William Carvalho will be responsible to close the German attackers as quickly as possible. Carvalho had a brilliant season with the Primeira Liga side and has attracted interest from top clubs,
Neuer vs Patricio
Neuer is arguably one of the best goal keepers in the world but he will have in mind that 4-0 drubbing by Real Madrid and must not repeat mistakes. 26 year old Patricio has made 30 appearances for the national side and has been one of the most consistent players having won Sporting CP player of the year award twice in the past 4 years.
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