Löw confident ahead of high-stakes match for 'young' Germans

Australia v Serbia, Today, 7.30pm ITV4

Ghana v Germany, Today, 7.30pm, ITV1

It is not just England who are staring into the abyss. If Germany fail to beat Ghana today, and Serbia defeat Australia, the three-time winners will be out of the World Cup at the opening stage for the first time since 1938. There is a key difference, however, between their situation and England's: Germany are playing well.

Having thrashed Australia 4-0, they were unfortunate to lose to Serbia. Having had Miroslav Klose unjustly sent off, Germany still dominated, but lost after Lukas Podolski became the first German international to miss a penalty since 1974.

Nevertheless, when coach Joachim Löw said yesterday, "We are convinced we can win this game and can get into the next round," it did not have that 'whistling in the wind' air that similar sentiments carry from the England camp.

"When I talk to the players, I do not get the impression they are nervous or worried after the defeat against Serbia," Löw added. "Although it is very young, the team has this confidence and inner conviction that it can beat Ghana. We've digested the defeat, we're focused. Pressure is there in any game. Our players can deal with the situation."

A draw at Johannesburg's Soccer City will be enough for Germany provided Serbia do not win in Nelspruit. Ghana will progress with a win or draw.

Any win will take Australia through if Germany lose and Blackburn's Brett Emerton said they were focusing on winning their game first, then worrying about how many. "We won't go gung-ho," he said. "We will still have a strategic plan and hopefully Ghana can come up with an upset against Germany.

"I've done the calculations plenty of times. We've all talked about the different scenarios. It's still possible. Germany could beat Ghana by three or four and that means we can beat the Serbs by one or two. It's still mathematically possible and we'll give it our best shot. If we get the win, we can walk away with our heads held high."

The Socceroos will be spurred on by a sense of injustice after their two star players, Tim Cahill and Harry Kewell, received questionable red cards in the opening games. Kewell is suspended tonight but Cahill is back.

"We know we haven't got the rub of the green," Emerton said. "We've played the majority of this World Cup with 10 men and both have been very, very harsh red cards," he added. "It's disappointing to lose Harry, but we get Tim back and after our good performance against Ghana, we should go into this match full of confidence."

The Serbia coach Raddy Antic is likely to recall defender Aleksandar Lukovic after suspension.

One historical footnote to watch out for in Johannesburg is whether Jerome Boateng and Kevin-Prince Boateng become the first brothers to play against each other in a World Cup tie. Both are German-born with a Ghanaian mother and German father. Manchester City-bound Jerome is likely to be on the bench for Germany but Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince should start. He was only cleared to play for Ghana shortly before the finals but is now keeping Internazionale's Sully Muntari out of the team.

Group D

Serbia will qualify with a win over Australia, then Germany will go out if they fail to win. A Serbia draw and defeat for Germany would also eliminate Joachim Löw's side.

Ghana need to win or draw.

Australia must win and hope Germany lose or beat Ghana well to qualify on goal difference.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are