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.

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsSchool leaver's pic YouTube video features staging of a playground gun massacre
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star