Group A
Germany v Costa Rica
Kick-off 17:00 (BST)

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The waiting finally comes to an end when hosts Germany run out in front of a full house in Munich to kick-off the 18th World Cup against Costa Rica.

Germany qualified automatically for the finals as the host nation, while Costa Rica finished third behind the USA and Mexico in the CONCACAF Zone.

The two countries have never previously met at full international level and Alex Guimaraes’ Costa Rica side will be hoping that they can take advantage of any first night nerves for the hosts.

“I’ll be tense and going through the same emotions as the players,” admitted Klinsmann on the eve of the match.

“Anything can happen,” warned Guimaraes. “We have good players and they know how to perform in these kind of games.

“The whole squad are very motivated. I know we have not had good results in our recent preparation games but I am sure my players will know what to do when the time comes.

“I am sure they will raise their game.”

Germany are set to be without captain Michael Ballack, although the recent Chelsea acquisition has made himself available despite a calf strain picked up in the friendly against Colombia on 2 June.

The absence of the man regarded as Germany’s only world class player is a huge blow for Klinsmann

Unless Ballack can convince Klinsmann of his fitness, Tim Borowski is the likely replacement in central midfield, with Bastian Schweinsteiger appearing on the left.

Miroslav Klose, who is celebrating his 28th birthday today, should lead the attack with Lukas Podolski likely to join him up front.

Costa Rica have doubts over keeper Jose Francisco Porras, midfielder Mauricio Solis and defender Gilberto Martinez.

Guimaraes is considering fielding a 3-4-2-1 line-up with veteran Paulo Wanchope the lone attacker.

Probable teams:
Germany: Lehmann, Lahm, Nowotny, Mertesacker, Friedrich, Schweinsteiger, Frings, Borowski, Schneider, Podolski, Klose.

Costa Rica: Porras, Umana, Marin, Gonzalez, Sequeira, Martinez, Solis, Centeno, Fonseca, Gomez, Wanchope.

Referee: Horacio Elizondo (Argentina)

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