The Round of 16 hopes for the U.S. and Germany are on the line on Thursday at Arena Pernambuco in Recife, and the weather may be an important factor in the match.
Heavy rain and flooding have plagued the region, which should cause passing and shooting problems. It could also perhaps open up opportunities for an opponent to capitalize off an opponent’s mistake.
Temperatures are expected to reach 80 degrees Fahrenheit, while the rain will be a welcomed break from the heat and high humidity.
While Ghana and Portugal look for victories in Brasilia, the U.S. and Germany would both be guaranteed a spot in knockout phase of World Cup 2014 with a draw.
What to Expect
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The U.S. will likely play a conservative match, and take advantage of Germany’s aggressive attack. With Germany pushing forward with their talented attacking midfield and forwards of Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil, the U.S. can counterattack.
Jermaine Jones should be a key figure for the Yanks. Against Portugal, Jones scored one of the best goals of the tournament, but he and Kyle Beckerman will be vital to securing the ball and preventing the potent German midfield from penetrating into the penalty box.
Michael Bradley will be needed to do a better job of ball possession, and finding the open winger to set up crosses in the box. The U.S. will have trouble scoring up the middle, and will need their wings to set up passes into the box to set up poaching chances against Manuel Neuer, perhaps the best goalkeeper in the world.
An American player to keep an eye is Geoff Cameron, should he come off the bench. The center back needs to put his disappointing effort against Portugal behind him, and not allow Germany to get easy opportunities.
D: Howedes, Hummels, Mertesacker, Boateng
M: Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Kroos
F: Muller, Podolski, Ozil
D: Gonzalez, Besler, Beasley, Johnson
M: Bradley, Jones, Davis, Beckerman, Zusi
Prediction: The weather will change the feel of the game. Each team should get manage one goal, but that’s it.
Predicted Score: 1-1