Tonight marks the beginning of the World Cup group stages for three-time champions Germany, or more specifically West Germany, who have also reached 4 other final appearances. Meanwhile their opponents in Salvador this evening, Portugal, haven’t managed to better their third place finish back in 1966.

It’s widely expected that their star man Cristiano Ronaldo, of Real Madrid fame, will start the game after some injury concerns coming into the tournament. He did limp off on Thursday’s training session and it was suspected that his reoccurring knee problems had returned. On the flip side Germany have some concerns over their talisman midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. He was airlifted to hospital on Saturday but is expected to be within their starting eleven as the trip was for ‘check-up’ purposes only.

Germany got through their warm up’s pretty easily but only managed a draw with Cameroon on 1st June. Expectations are high and a place in the last four is likely to be the minimum requirement from Joachim Low’s squad. They completed their qualification campaign unbeaten but some concerns remain over their ability in the final third. Marco Reus, one of only two real centre forwards in their squad, has been removed due to injury leaving Miroslav Klose as their only option of an out-an-out striker. Their strength in depth from midfield though is of legendary proportions; with Matthias Ginter, Christoph Kramer and Julian Draxler all looking to stake a claim on the tournament from the substitute’s bench (and all more than capable).

Portugal also had some successful friendlies ahead of the tournament and registered wins over the Republic of Ireland and World Cup hopefuls Mexico. This came of the back of a rocky qualification campaign where it took an invigorated Ronaldo to get them through a tough play-off with Sweden. Portugal cannot rely on their talisman alone, especially if this injury of his returns, and they already have a tricky group to navigate. Paulo Bento’s side are as unpredictable as they are talented; able to win or lose against any opponents on any given day. Joan Moutinho, Pepe and Raul Meireles carry plenty of experience in the squad but with nine players in their thirties and an average age of 28.5 we could see them struggle in the Brazilian humidity.

Come join us just before 5:00pm (GMT) for what is sure to be a fantastic encounter between these European powerhouses.

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Richard June 16, 20146:57 pm

Well that’s it for this one… 200% will be back just before 8:00pm for Iran vs. Nigeria

Richard June 16, 20146:54 pm

I’m really praying Adrian Chiles stayed on that beach and remains there past the final.

Jenni June 16, 20146:53 pm

“unsavoury bit of nonsense” – could be an accurate description of the itv coverage

Richard June 16, 20146:53 pm

I love seeing Ronaldo lose. What a winker!

Jenni June 16, 20146:52 pm

Classic Ronaldo sad face

Richard June 16, 20146:52 pm

And that’s it 4-0 to Germany.

Well drilled and determined beats Ballon D’or and Pace.

Mark June 16, 20146:52 pm

Pepe. Haha…

Richard June 16, 20146:51 pm

I love how Nani always forgets himself when Portugal get a freekick…. it’s always going to be Ronaldo.

And it take a terrific save from Neuer to deny him.

Jenni June 16, 20146:50 pm

Two more minutes to go

Richard June 16, 20146:49 pm

Nothing much happening in the football….

Richard June 16, 20146:46 pm

Keeping up to date on the Sky scoreboard.

Mark June 16, 20146:45 pm

Oooh, and the test match. If you like cricket, you’ll want to watch…

Mark June 16, 20146:45 pm

Ronaldo free-kick. One man in the wall. He hits him. His day…

Mark June 16, 20146:40 pm

Quickstep into the future. 2024: Veteran German striker Thomas Muller, seeking one more payday, signs for Premier League stalwarts West Bromwich Albion…
Tyldesley’s comment about Chiles walking on the beach – a reminder that he was good once

Richard June 16, 20146:39 pm

Adrian had better still be on the beach when we go back to the studio

Richard June 16, 20146:39 pm

Ronaldo’s hair is as floppy and sweaty as his performance tonight.

Richard June 16, 20146:38 pm

It’s turned in by Thomas Muller (Hatrick!). Taps in a loose ball home after Andre Schurrle’s shot is saved.

Mark June 16, 20146:38 pm

Penalty and a sending-off. And a hat-trick for Muller. Cut to ITV studio please

Jenni June 16, 20146:37 pm

Adrian Chiles is going to be LIVID

Richard June 16, 20146:35 pm

Portugal would have had a penalty on another day.

Mark June 16, 20146:34 pm

Germany might struggle in “the nitty-gritty stage”, whatever that is (there’s a Tour de France in the North of England joke in there somewhere)

Richard June 16, 20146:34 pm

It’s all got a bit slow here. Cagey half from both teams. Neither willing to push too many players forward.

Richard June 16, 20146:33 pm

Hummel’s has been solid. Hopefully, for Germany, he won’t be out for long.

Jenni June 16, 20146:31 pm

Ouch, another slow mo to make you wince

Richard June 16, 20146:29 pm

The only positive tonight is his first name.

Mark June 16, 20146:28 pm

And a finishing coach??

Mark June 16, 20146:28 pm

Does Mario Goetze share a hair-stylist with Scott Parker?

Richard June 16, 20146:25 pm

Like a screenshot from Grand Theft Auto… the tragedy.

Jenni June 16, 20146:24 pm

Coentrão off in the big orange stretcher – nice aerial shot for added drama

Mark June 16, 20146:23 pm

Coentrao felt both his hamstring AND his groin there didn’t he? NOT Ha-ha…

Mark June 16, 20146:22 pm

Pepe. Ha-ha…

Richard June 16, 20146:21 pm

The blistering pace is coming off.

Richard June 16, 20146:20 pm

That’s why he’s “the best man in the world” though.

Richard June 16, 20146:19 pm

Ronaldo getting his body between the defender and the ball there. Shame his freekick only hit the wall.

Richard June 16, 20146:13 pm

That £40 million price tag has given him the jitters.

Mark June 16, 20146:12 pm

Given how good Ozil was four years ago, it is sad that you just KNEW he wouldn’t score there

Jenni June 16, 20146:11 pm

Oh dear, lack of communication there for Portugal

Richard June 16, 20146:11 pm

Ozil with the first chance of the second half. Tried to squeeze it past Rui Patricio but the keeper makes a good save. Muller’s headed follow-up goes over the bar. This is becoming a routine exercise for the Germans.

Mark June 16, 20146:09 pm

Clive Tyldesley: “Us, the neutrals.” Yes, Clive…

Richard June 16, 20146:07 pm

Germany look happy just to hold onto the ball this half already. Portugal have seven back whenever their opponents have the ball – obviously don’t want this to get embarrassing….

Richard June 16, 20146:05 pm

We’re back underway with Costa taking over from Veloso

Mark June 16, 20146:03 pm

Cricket’s getting exciting BTW

Ted June 16, 20146:02 pm

Adrian Chiles need to bear in mind the old axiom, don’t hate the player, don’t hate the game, hate ITV’s coverage of it.

Mark June 16, 20146:00 pm

Adrian Chiles morphing into “Irish controversialist” Eamon Dunphy. Think he’s mostly talking cods but…I dunno, he has a point in there somewhere, I think. Will just need to see the replay to work out what it is.
Still. Pepe. Ha-ha…

Richard June 16, 20145:57 pm

Klose will get his goal for this tournament later today.

Mark June 16, 20145:56 pm

FIFA’s number one priority is what now????

Ted June 16, 20145:56 pm

Portugal will need to change shape in the second half. Ronaldo will lead the line, with Clive Tyldesley playing just behind him, trying to touch his bum.

The Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio will continue his one-man attempt to make the “False One” a thing.

Jenni June 16, 20145:56 pm

Is that really FIFA’s main priority?

Richard June 16, 20145:55 pm

Apparently Pepe is the reason Portugal are behind…. Wasn’t it 2-0 when he went.

Mark June 16, 20145:54 pm

Now, I wasn’t expecting THAT.

Jenni June 16, 20145:53 pm

Yes, Adrian you are mad… Play acting is not worse than head butting

Mark June 16, 20145:51 pm

Actually, before we get to the studio, I think Pepe WAS slightly unfortunate. Still, Pepe getting sent-off. Funny. Getting sent-off unfairly, p**s f*****g funny. (Reworking an old Brendon Burns line, there)

Mark June 16, 20145:50 pm

That duck’s going to get nutted in a minute…

Ted June 16, 20145:49 pm

HALF-TIME ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: Pepe enjoying his early bath

Mark June 16, 20145:49 pm

Right, which studio pundit has defended Pepe, then?

Jenni June 16, 20145:49 pm

And Ronaldo doesn’t look like “the greatest man on earth” today

Jenni June 16, 20145:47 pm

Can Portugal claw anything back? They are quick going forward but don’t seem to know what to do when they get there, apart from pass to Ronaldo

Richard June 16, 20145:47 pm

Rui Patricio tried to save that one with his legs. Someone should tell him he can use his hands.

Richard June 16, 20145:45 pm

I feel like I’m Ozil bashing but he always has his mouth open. Like he’s shocked to be here.

Muller makes it three-nil with a fine left footed shot from just inside the area.

Mark June 16, 20145:44 pm

Pepe. Haha…

Jenni June 16, 20145:42 pm

Ozil clearly has bags of energy now from ambling about for most of the half

Richard June 16, 20145:39 pm

All the Germany team stand over this freekick… except Neuer because he’s not picky.

Mark June 16, 20145:39 pm

“You don’t go right up to someone and push your head into them…that’s nuts.” Well…yes…

Mark June 16, 20145:38 pm

My highlight of the World Cup. Not so far…for ever. Ronaldo’s got it all to do now.

Jenni June 16, 20145:37 pm

Who would have thought Pepe would do that eh? *raises eyebrows*

Richard June 16, 20145:37 pm

Have Portugal gone down to 10 too early?!

Richard June 16, 20145:37 pm

Pepe and Muller having a confrontation and a red is shown…. to Pepe it seems.

Angry Portuguese Man!

Jenni June 16, 20145:36 pm


Mark June 16, 20145:36 pm

Have the Germans gone two-up too early??? And Andy Townsend seems confused as to whether or not you should “always look for Ronaldo.” Coentrao should have…

Jenni June 16, 20145:33 pm

(Also was trying to multi task – watch football, concentrate on blog and feed baby)

Ted June 16, 20145:32 pm

TACTICAL ANALYSIS: @ 33 minutes. Heat map of Nani’s touches for Portugal vs. Germany, World Cup First Round, 16.6.2014

Jenni June 16, 20145:32 pm

Missed that as other half wandered in front of the telly

Ian June 16, 20145:31 pm

Whoop whoop!

I’m all in favour of Portugal getting knocked out in the first round of this.

Richard June 16, 20145:31 pm

Hummels makes it 2-0 with a bullet header.

Portugal looking outdone here already.

Mark June 16, 20145:29 pm

“The Germans won’t have seen too much of Eder.” Trans: Clive Tyldesley hasn’t seen too much of Eder.

Richard June 16, 20145:28 pm

Apparently it’s going to be Eder of Braga to take Almeida’s place.

Mark June 16, 20145:26 pm

Hugo Almeida. The concept of the “false number nine” made flesh. Oh…and Magnum PI, ten years after retirement. Bring on Postiga…what?…oh…

Richard June 16, 20145:24 pm

They’ll revolutionise Football when they do “bounds line technology” or BLT for short.

Was that a throw in?

Ian June 16, 20145:23 pm

Ha ha ha, oh Christ. We have a winner over goal-line technology.

Jenni June 16, 20145:22 pm

Moutinho inspired by the Honduran way of tackling there

Ted June 16, 20145:21 pm

Mark June 16, 20145:19 pm

The concept of a diagonal pass “in Joao Pereira” is an interesting one, especially when it is “around” him as well.

Jenni June 16, 20145:18 pm

I didn’t realise he was even on the pitch

Richard June 16, 20145:18 pm

It appears that Ozil doesn’t even run in football matches

Richard June 16, 20145:16 pm

I ran home from work today.

(‘ran’ = paced walk)

Ian June 16, 20145:15 pm

Right, I’m back from work now. This is why I haven’t put myself down for any of the five o’clock kick-offs. Bus driver almost sailed clean past my stop, too. There’d have been a bloody five o’clock kick-off on that bus if it hadn’t stopped.

Ian June 16, 20145:13 pm


Mark June 16, 20145:13 pm

In possession in front of goal, eight yards out, defenders four yards away EACH and STILL its not a clear goalscoring opportunity. Right-o.

Richard June 16, 20145:12 pm

Later in the match that would probably have been a red.

Jenni June 16, 20145:11 pm

Was Pereira lucky there? Looked like a big shirt tug with a heap of clumsiness

Richard June 16, 20145:11 pm

Muller with the Penalty… and it’s in via the bottom left.

Keeper almost there….. those crafty Germans!

Jenni June 16, 20145:11 pm

Clinical, etc

Richard June 16, 20145:10 pm

Penalty for Germany here. Pereira tried to recover from a Germany break but tugs down Mario Gotze.

Jenni June 16, 20145:10 pm


Richard June 16, 20145:09 pm

Ronaldo gets his first real chance of the game but the big body of Neuer makes it safe.

Straight up the other end and Rui Patricio almost gifts Gotze a goal from his miskick but the German midfield fails to hit the target.

Mark June 16, 20145:07 pm

Nani’s appearance record for Man Yoo last season is a reminder that David Moyes didn’t get EVERYTHING wrong

Ian June 16, 20145:06 pm

Junkleclunks? Noting that word down for future reference.

Richard June 16, 20145:06 pm

Looks like both team will try and attack each other during this one. The Germanys are so well drilled that I see them being very hard to breakdown but Cameroon managed it with their pace during the warm up games and it’s one of the main thing the Portugal attack have in abundance.

Jenni June 16, 20145:04 pm

That is a brave look, moustache *and* hairband

Ian June 16, 20145:03 pm

Frustratingly, I’m going to miss the first five minutes of this. But hey, I’m not afraid to liveblog about it anyway.

It’s been eighteen years since Germany last won a major tournament (although the women’s is most definitely one of the very best in the world) and it’s now twenty-four years since they last won the World Cup. Those sort of numbers make me feel old.

I don’t think that, regardless of the teams they’ve had in recent years, Portugal have come as close to winning a World Cup as they did in 1966, when they gave England a hell of a game in the semi finals and might well have won had that match been played at Goodison Park rather than Wembley.

Mark June 16, 20145:03 pm

Ah yes, the grudge against Ronaldo continues. As Andy Zaltzman wrote the other week: “In 2006, he somehow managed to prove that winking a bit annoyingly is, to the English mind at least, a far more heinous crime than kicking someone in their junkleclunks, a logical contortion that had proved beyond even Aristotle.” My thoughts, exactly.
And you can’t really direct all your ire against Ronaldo in a team which contains Pepe.

Richard June 16, 20145:02 pm

I do love the “arrow” on that Germany shirt. Very nice indeed.

Jenni June 16, 20145:00 pm

Crowd noise almost drowning out Andy Townsend, so far so good

Richard June 16, 20144:59 pm

We’re back from ITV’s pre-game advert break. Looks like Germany will be starting this one off for us.

Jenni June 16, 20144:59 pm

Eurgh the ITV credits are so tinpot

Richard June 16, 20144:57 pm

The Portuguese team can actually sing their anthem in tune. Amazing!

Richard June 16, 20144:56 pm

I think you heard that correctly. What a winker?

(Yes, I’m still bitter)

Jenni June 16, 20144:55 pm

Did he just say Ronaldo was the “greatest man on the planet”?

Jenni June 16, 20144:54 pm

And I’m trying to keep one eye on the telly and one on my son who is threatening to crawl for the first time during this game…

Richard June 16, 20144:52 pm

So here we go… a rushed return for work but I’ve made it with minutes to spare.

Lots of speed in the Portugal line-up. This one could go one of two ways this one. I’m hoping this won’t be the first draw of the tournament.