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.

Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice