When the US and Germany face each other on June 26th in the final game of Group G play, it will be an encounter of familiar faces. We all know about Juergen Klinsmann playing and coaching for Germany and how there are numerous American players with German descent. What we haven’t really looked at is what the German approach to this showdown will be like. One has to remember that Jogi Loew was Klinsmann’s assistant for many years, including the 2006 World Cup in Germany. So both coaches are quite familiar with one another.

Germany come into this game after a 4-0 thrashing of Portugal only to stumble against a tough Ghanaian side, drawing 2-2. It was definitely not the result “Die Mannschaft” was looking for as a win would have seen them through to the qualifying rounds early. Germany though should feel confident going into the match, as a loss would not necessarily spell the end of their World Cup run. To map it out, the only way Germany does not advance is if they lose, and somehow have their +4 goal differential overcome by either Ghana whose GD is currently at -1 or Portugal whose is at -4. So for all intensive purposes, Germany will most likely be playing in the Round of 16 on June 30th. But does this mean that they will rest their starters?

Absolutely not, and even if they did, the quality that they have on their bench is probably equal to that of the US starting XI. What I do expect to see though is Bastian Schweinsteiger in the starting lineup. His insertion towards the end of the Ghana game completely swung the momentum into their favor, as he is still one of the best midfielders in the entire world. There have been numerous media reports out of Germany in the last week demanding that the Bayern Munich midfielder be put in the starting lineup in favor of either Sami Khedira or Mesut Oezil, who both have been underwhelming through their first two games.

Despite Germany displaying quite a lackluster performance against Ghana, they have had a tendency to play down to the level of their opponents in the second game of major tournaments; only for them to bounce back strong in the following games. I do think that the US will offer the Germans a staunch test, as beating Ghana and drawing Portugal is no fluke.

The Germans will come out knowing that nothing is assured for them. There have been calls for both teams to sit back and play to a draw, as it would suit them both, but those rumors have been smashed down immediately by both Loew and Klinsmann. Germany will come out looking to win; it is the German mentality after all. In all, I believe the US will give the Germans a run for their money; but the talent and experience that the Germans possess will be hard to match.

My prediction: Germany wins 2-0.