|Date & Time||Monday June 16, 2014, 12:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Germany +104
A World Cup matchup between Germany and Portugal on Monday afternoon has the looks of being a classic. This will be the 18th meeting between the two, and Germany leads the series 9-3-5.
Germany is certainly no stranger to World Cup success, as it has already won the tournament three times in the past. Germany enters this season as one of the favorites, but is also a little banged up. One of the most aggressive German players in Marco Reus won’t participate and while Manuel Neuer is expected to start, he’s dealing with a shoulder injury that should raise some concern. Still, Germany is absolutely loaded with players such as Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Julian Draxler and Phillipp Lahm, just to name a few and has reached at least the semifinals in its last four major events. Once again, Germany will be a tough out for anybody.
Portugal isn’t nearly as experienced with this being just their sixth World Cup appearance, but it always has a shot as long as Cristiano Ronaldo remains healthy. Arguably the best player in the world, Ronaldo has 49 career international goals and scored 51 in his most recent season with Real Madrid. This may be Ronaldo’s last shot considering he’d be 33 years old at the next World Cup. Besides its go-to man, Portugal’s main strength is its creative midfield led by Joao Moutinho, who has tons of experience at the young age of 27. Portugal is a dark horse to win it all as long as players stay healthy.
This is going to be a hard fought matchup and could be the best of the opening rounds. However, I’m afraidPortugaldoesn’t have anywhere near the same amount of scoring ability as Germany. The Germans can score early and often, and while making life difficult for Ronaldo on the defensive end.
I was leaning draw, but I believe Germany will pull away late for the victory.