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Rupert Wyman 17th Jun 2010 - 13:31

Germany to Serb up a lack of goals

Germany may have put in the performance of the World Cup so far in their opening match against Australia but against Serbia they could come back down to earth.

As impressive as the Germans were in Durban what seems to have been forgotten by the majority of people is how woeful Australia were.

The Socceroos started the match without a natural striker on the pitch thus signalling their intentions so as soon as they went a goal behind in the 27th minute they were up against it.

In addition the sending off of Australia's best player Tim Cahill after 56 minutes when they were 2-0 down certainly made life even easier for the Germans as they has so much more space to work in.

Therefore the prospect of Germany against Serbia should not have you expecting another goal-fest with lots of good attacking play.

Serbia may have lost their opening match 1-0 to Ghana but they are a good defensive side and should be able to restrict Joachim Low's side to few chances.

The Serbs were over-run in the middle by Ghana and while Germany have the ability to do this as well I would have thought that the set-up of their side will negate this possibility as they generally play with just two midfielders.

One of these is Bastian Schweinsteiger and in the build up to the match he has missed training and if he is unable to start or is not fully at the races then this will be a huge blow to Die Mannschaft.

In the absence of Michael Ballack, Schweinsteiger is the main man in the middle of the park and in my eyes it is testament to him how Sami Khedira was easily able to slot in as Ballack's replacement.

Schweinsteiger and Khedira are the only two players in Germany's squad that can play the holding role so the Bayern man's fitness worries must be a cause for concern for Low.

Despite the reasons for optimism for Serbia they will need to vastly improve upon their display against Ghana if they are to pick up the win (5/1) they desperately require.

As a result I think the best they can hope for is a point (13/5) which would give them a half a chance of qualifying ahead of their final match versus Australia.

A narrow win to Germany (8/13) though looks the call. A 1-0 win can be backed at 9/2 and a scorecast bet with Miroslav Klose as the scorer is 20/1.

After his strike against the Aussies, Klose is four goals short of Ronaldo's all-time World Cup record and as he always seems to be in the right place at the right time in these tournaments you can't really look past him.

In recent days Chile, Uruguay and Argentina have played some good attacking football at the World Cup and while Germany were the first side to put in a good display I expect their second match to be much more like the vast majority of the matches so far - little action and even fewer goals.



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