Germany this Saturday will have the most important match in 2009, they will travel to Moscow to play against Russia. Russia is only 1 point behind Germany and if Russia win, they are very likely to win the group and qualify to World Cup directly. On the other hand, Germany also want to win as they will qualify for World Cup, no matter what happen in the next round. Now here's the preview:
Russia: Russia only lost against Germany away and they won all the other matches. They will play on the artificial grass ground and lead them to have a slight advantage. Andrei Arshavin no doubt will be the most important Russian player as his connection to the strikers are very good. Pavel Pogrebnyak will very likely to start the match. Also, Pogrebnyak knows the German style well as he is currently playing for VfB Stuttgart. Yuri Zhirkov will lead the defence and he plays an important role in the defence.
What makes Russia to win: Counter attacks. Russia are very good at the counter attacks. Coach Guus Hiddink did a very good job to make the team to be very well disciplined and organized team. They will be very likely to win if they can tackle the ball effectively and start the counter attack well.
What make them down: Off the ball defence. The biggest problem of Russia is they spend too much game time on the off the ball defence. It is very dangerous for them as they give the bomb to the opposition to bomb themselves. They have to hold the ball better or else it will be just the matter of time to concede goals.
Germany: Germany did take the trouble when they only snatched a draw against Finland in the very early stage. Now they need at least one point in order to protect their lead and bring back the advantage back home. However, the entired team want to win as they all know all the troubles and doubts will be gone. Mesut Özil playes a very important role to Germany as he is the best player in the team so far. Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose are having the confident trouble and now it is time for them to perform. Per Mertesacker will lead the defence line and Heiko Westermann will be likely to get along with him.
What makes Germany to win: Passing game. As mentioned above, Russia is very well disciplined and organized in defence, so more passing is the only way to confuse Russian defence and create goals. Özil plays an important role to connect the midfield and strikers, as well as make more runs to confuse the Russians.
What makes them down: Strikers. Stefan Kießling once again is forgotten so the remaining strikers need to perform. Cacau and Klose are yet to score in the league so it is questionable in their confident. Plus Gomez and Lukas Podolski are not good at form so those strikers must pick up their confident quick.
General prediction: I believe Germany will have more possession. This is because Russia are comfortable without the ball and are likely to wait for the counter attack chances. So Germany must make use of the possession very well in order to win this match. It is likely to see a draw here as both teams will not be upset to end up like this. However, I believe Germany will have a little bit advantage as they always have the ball. So even Germany are away, I believe they can qualify for the World Cup after this Saturday.