Portugal wins. No prose. Going with the bullets.
- Cristiano Ronaldo. Like he isn’t already motivated, Lehmann fires him up even more by saying that he knows his weakness since Arsenal has had great success against him over the last few years.
- Portugal has pace on the wings – the German midfield and back four are just too slow. They couldn’t control Korkmaz properly. How exactly are they going to keep up with Simao, Ronaldo, Moutinho along with Nani and Quaresma off the bench?
- Germany has lacked drive in the middle of the park. IF Ballack plays well and IF Schweinsteiger shows the drive he was starting to display before his red card against Croatia, then Germany may have a chance – don’t forget that Bastian had a hat trick against Portugal in the 3rd place match at World Cup 2006. But I think the extra time that Deco should get against the German midfield – especially if Frings is out – is going to kill Germany.
- Pepe and Carvalho are good in the air. Bet Gomez doesn’t start. So it’s going to be tougher for Klose to win aerial battles. Germany’s chance is going to come from one twos between Podolski and Klose. Also, whoever is coming down the right wing needs to put pressure on Ferreira – he’s the weak link. Too bad Lahm plays on the left. Maybe Loew should switch him to right back to get the matchup.
- Germany hasn’t played well since the first half against Poland.
- Portugal is well rested with their starters having had a week off between games. Germany had to labor through 90 minutes a few days ago against Austria and Podolski is supposedly banged up.
However, this is the Germans, so don’t ever count them out. Especially if Portugal doesn’t get Ronaldo the ball on the wing enough.
Pre-game prediction: Portugal 2 Germany 1
Man of the match will be Deco…