Germans out to get World Cup hopes off to a flying start against the Aussies.
Germany coach Joachim Loew is likely to stick with out-of-form Mirolsav Klose ahead of Cacau in the lone striker’s role. New Manchester City signing Jerome Boateng is expected to play alongside Per Metersacker at the heart of the Germany defence and Sami Khedira will step into Michael Ballack’s place in central midfield.
Australia are waiting to see if Tim Cahill will be fit after a neck injury that has forced him to train alone this week. Harry Kewell has overcome his groin problem and will spearhead a likely 4-5-1 formation. Jason Culina is set to win his 50th cap. (BBC Sport)
Joachim Loew will expect nothing less than three points from Germany’s opener in Durban but that may be easier said than done as they come up against a solid, it not spectacular, Australia side this evening. Without Michael Ballack and indeed his replacement Christian Träsch, Loew will be looking to Stuttgart youngster Sami Khedira to help win the midfield battle but that is one area that their opponents have a number of quality players with the likes of Tim Cahill, Brett Emerton, Vincent Grella and Mark Bresciano packing Pim Verbeeks side with experience at the highest level.
Where Australia could struggle is up front where a lot rests on Josh Kennedy the Nagoya Grampus striker and he could find life tough up against a typically resolute German defence. Unless of course the Aussies decide instead to play Harry Kewell up front on his own which may well be how they plan to take on the Group D favourites.
Highlights of recent warm up games the two sides have taken part in.
Hungary 0-3 Germany
Australia 2-1 New Zealand