What: 2010 FIFA World Cup
Who: Serbia vs Ghana (Group D)
When: Sunday 13th June, 2010, at 15:00 UK Time
Where: Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Balkan Belief

Serbia are being talked up as one of the tournament’s dark horses and it’s easy to see why. They topped their qualification group ahead of France and with the likes of Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic in their squad they possess players who ply their trade at the top of the European game. The White Eagles have been handed a tough group with Germany down as favourites to win, but looking at the talent available to coach Radomir Antic there is no reason why they can’t push die Mannschaft all the way for that top spot. 

Africa’s Best Hope?

On African soil the footballing world is expecting one of the ‘home’ nations to perform well; reaching the last eight or even the last four. The Black Stars could be the team that does Africa proud. The Ghanaians have good tournament pedigree having reached the final of the Nations Cup earlier this year and several members of the squad herald from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup winning squad. The only reason their chances aren’t being talked up more is because they find themselves in a difficult group, but with their mixture of talented youth and experience there is no doubt they have the means to progress beyond the group stage.

Recent form


New Zealand 1-0 Serbia (29/05; Friendly)
Serbia 0-0 Poland (02/06; Friendly)
Serbia 4-3 Cameroon (05/06; Friendly)

Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 Ghana (03/03; Friendly)
Netherlands 4-1 Ghana (01/06; Friendly)
Ghana 1-0 Latvia (05/06; Friendly)

Players to watch

Serbia – Nikola Zigic: The 6”8 striker has recently joined Premier League outfit Birmingham City and will be hoping to impress Blues fans with some eye-catching displays at the World Cup. Due to his size alone Zigic is more than a handful for defenders, but he also possesses good feet and will act as the linchpin for Serbia’s attacks. If the former Valencia forward can perform well in the group stage then the White Eagles’ chances of reaching the knockout phase will be greatly enhanced.

Ghana – Asamoah Gyan: The then 20-year-old striker played at the World Cup in Germany four years ago, scoring the Black Stars’ first goal of the tournament. Four years on Gyan will be hoping to use that experience to fire the African side into the last 16. The Rennes’ forward should relish the chance of playing in such a huge tournament on the African continent; he enters the World Cup in good form having impressed at the Nations Cup in January.

Match prediction

Serbia and Ghana could be facing their ‘World Cup final’ in the opening match as defeat for either side will be a disaster looking at how closely fought Group D is likely to be. Both sides have talented footballers at their disposal so expect a fast open game at first before the effects of altitude are felt later in the match. As for the result, the Black Stars spurred on by an African crowd will win it by a goal.Although South Africa will have the entire African continent on their side, Mexico’s ability to hold their own and compete against some of the world’s best teams will prove to be vital. El Tri will walk away victors in the first match of the World Cup 2-1.

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