FIFA World Cup: We are staying guarded, says Mertesacker
Germany will be hoping history doesn't repeat itself when they tackle Ghana in their second World Cup Group G match at Fortaleza on Saturday
Fortaleza: Germany will be hoping history doesn't repeat itself when they tackle Ghana in their second World Cup Group G match at Fortaleza on Saturday.
Historically, the Germans have a tradition of winning their opening group match at World Cup finals, only to struggle in their second game.
At the 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cup finals, they drew their second matches, piling on the pressure for the final group game in order to qualify. They endured a nervy 1-0 win over Poland in 2006 but four years ago they suffered a shock defeat to Serbia in their second match.
It left the Germans needing to beat Ghana in their final group match and memories of that nervy night in Johannesburg, when a Mesut Ozil goal put them through, still linger.
“That’s warning enough for us,” said Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker, who will win his 100th cap for Germany. “We know what we have to do and will go into the second game with all seriousness.” Following Monday’s 4-0 thumping of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal Germany know another victory would leave them on the verge of the last 16.
They will qualify for the knock-out phase if they beat Ghana and then USA avoid defeat against Portugal on Sunday in Manaus. Germany may be forced to reshuffle their back-four as Mats Hummels struggles to recover from a thigh injury.