Tag Archives: Stephen Appiah

Group D preview

6 Jun

Group D
Australia
Germany
Ghana
Serbia

Australia advanced to the round of 16 in 2006. Will the Socceroos be able to repeat the feat in 2010? Group D is a tough draw all around. Tim Cahill is a star for Everton and led Australia in scoring during qualifying. He’s got a good nose for the ball around the goal. Although it must be said that Australia looked much better without Cahill in a friendly loss to the USA on Saturday. The defense will be anchored by Fulham goalie Mark Schwarzer, who had a solid Premier League season. Head coach Pim Verbeek has already announced his intention to leave the post after the World Cup, but that shouldn’t stop the squad from playing its typical, aggressive style.

Germany is like the Michigan State of soccer. They always step up in the big competitions. For example, in 2006, no one expected Germany to do well even though they were hosting, but they ended up finishing third. Michael Ballack was recently ruled out after an ankle injury, so the question will be who can step it up in the midfield. Bastian Schweinsteiger had an excellent season for Bayern Munich and the team will look to him as the senior leader in the midfield. Another question will be the strength of the goalkeeping. Manuel Neuer was once the third choice keeper, but now he’ll be the starter.

Ghana has dealt with an injury blow of its own as Michael Essien has been ruled out of the competition. There’s already a little bit of bad blood with Germany as Kevin-Prince Boateng was the one who ended Ballack’s World Cup before it even started. Head coach Milojan Rajevac has a lot of options to choose from. There’s a solid veteran core led by midfielder Stephen Appiah and also a young group that ended up winning the U-20 World Cup last year. The big question will be if the young players can step up on the biggest stage possible.

Serbia doesn’t come into the World Cup on the best of notes as fans rioted after a shock 1-0 loss to New Zealand in a friendly. Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic will help anchor the defense. The questions surrounding Serbia involve the team’s ability to score. All the strike options have talent, but aren’t exactly prolific in front of net. Captain Dejan Stankovic will lead the midfield.

The Soccer Wall’s picks to advance: Germany, Serbia

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