A very interesting day in Groups F and G, as Argentina have a very good chance of seeing themselves in the next stage facing a weak Iran team, Germany are in the same situation against a desperate Ghana side while Nigeria and Bosnia will also be looking for their first wins in the tournament.
Germany, undoubtedly, landed the most impressive win of the first set of matches in the group stage. Suddenly Thomas Muller looks like a likely candidate not just to top the scoring in this tournament but the all-time scoring charts of the World Cup. No strikers, and still no problem as the front trio is passing and moving in perfect synchronization which was a bit too much for the Portuguese defense, even with 11 men.
Ghana are in a big bind. They came in with plenty of expectations going into this tournament but the loss to the United States changed everything. There’s talent on this team, plenty on the offensive side of the ball, but some things might be pulling apart the dressing room, while their defense against a not too impressive United States looked fragile whenever it was pressured into making quick decisions.
We might see some change in the German lineup if Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit enough. The same can be said of Ghana, who might leave Jordan Ayew out of the starting XI after a very poor first match. The two teams met at the same stage in the previous World Cup, and encounter which Germany won. While Ghana have the ability to put on a fight, it’ll be very surprising to see them coming away with anything from this one.
Argentina facing Iran might be one of the more one sided matches we’ll get to see in this tournament. It doesn’t say anything about the score – we’ve learned a few times that this tournament is about surprises as much as anything else. However, Iran, along with Algeria and Honduras, looks like a team that lacks any kind of creativity or intention to create anything that doesn’t come from clearing the ball.
While Argentina’s defense didn’t do all that well against Bosnia, a focused effort will be enough against Iran, attacking with very few numbers in their previous match against Nigeria. Lionel Messi might be feeling a bit more loose after getting the opening jitters out of the way with a splendid goal, which could open up the route for a memorable tournament for him.
Bosnia did lose the opening match, but the draw between Iran and Nigeria gave them more than slight hope that they can make it out of second place. Nigeria looked bad against Iran. Out of ideas tactically and very poor in terms of technique, failing to do simple things whenever they got near the Iranian defense. No speed, no creativity, and nothing from what they showed in the African championship last year.
Bosnia have the fantastic Edin Dzeko who’ll probably feel a bit more helped in this match with Bosnia daring a little bit more. Vedad Ibisevic might start next to him, but it’ll be the ability of Miralem Pjanic to push this team forward that will be the determining factor in this match.