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Your daily World Cup tip sheet for who's playing when, and what to watch for. We'll deliver a new briefing the evening before every game day, highlighting the can't-miss match and which players to watch.

Match of the day: Germany vs. Ghana

Germany made a major statement in an easy 4-0 win over Portugal, setting the pace in the difficult Group G. Die Mannschaft not only sliced through the Portuguese defence without breaking a sweat, they also showed enough defensive might to shut down Ronaldo and friends completely. It was the most complete 90-minute effort any side has shown in Brazil. Ghana is coming off a tough loss to the U.S., a thriller decided on a late goal by American substitute John Brooks. The Black Stars will look to continue the domination they showed in the second half of that physical affair, but with better results. A good place to start would be inserting German-born striker Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke) and AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien in the starting lineup.

Christophe Ena / AP

Player to watch: Germany’s Philipp Lahm

There’s no question that this German team is stacked with young, diverse talent, but the veteran Bayern Munich captain remains the side’s most important player. He’s versatile enough to play at right-back or as a holding midfielder and his soccer IQ is off the charts. Lahm’s brand of soccer is short on highlight-reel material, but you’d be hard pressed to name a more consistent and reliable player.

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