Germany-Norway Preview: Who Will Go First in Group B
Photo via USA Today

Two hat tricks by Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag helped play a huge role in Germany's dismantling of the Ivory Coast 10-0 this past Sunday. In the other fixture of Group B, Norway properly handled Thailand 4-0 to become 2nd in the group, on goal differential. Now, the top two sides in Group B will face off on Thursday with the first place spot at stake.

Germany looked absolutely dominate against Ivory Coast who are 67th in the FIFA Women's world rankings. After three minutes gone, Sasic scored and the floodgates opened on what would be a long and dismal afternoon for the Ivorians. Sasic completed her hat trick in under thirty minutes and Anja Mittag added another goal to top off the first half. In the second half, Mittag also achieved a hat trick and four other goals were scored by the Germans to easily secure the three points in a fairly easy group for them.

Norway defeated Thailand 4-0 in what was the Thai's first ever Women's World Cup match in history. Center back Trine Ronning opened the scoring in the 16th minute for the Norweigans. Isabell Herlovsen scored a brace and Ada Hederberg knocked one into the back of the net which allowed Norway to receive maximum points and ahead of a huge group match with Germany on Thursday.

Norway's defense will have a lot to handle when they face Germany and the ruthless attack that they possess. Trine Ronning will be the most important player on the pitch defending against the number one team in the world. With 153 appearances for the Norweigan Football Association and much experience at center back, the 32-year-old Ronning will be the rock of the back line and her play will dictate how the afternoon goes for the Grasshoppers.

Germany's attack will be fun to watch against Norway. Ten goals against the Ivory Coast was outrageous and right now they look as if they can roll over any team in their path currently. Unless Norway defend as they are hoping to against the strongest team in the world, it may be another easy win for Deutschland. 

There is not much at stake in this match other than the opportunity to go first in the table. Both Germany and Norway are clear favorites to move on in the group, but this match will decide the fate and the different directions the teams will go after the final whistle blows. The winner of Germany and Norway will be favorite to win out in group play and move on finishing first. The importance of this game is the seeding that will result from it.