World Cup Preview – Germany (21/32)

World Cup Preview – Germany

UEFA

Group F

Best World Cup Performance: Winners x4 – 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014

Current World Ranking: 1

History

On the 13th July 2014 at the Estadio Macarena, Rio de Janeiro, Mario Götze smashed in a 113th minute goal to send Germany into ecstasy, as they beat Argentina to win the World Cup for the first time since 1990.

The Germans go into Russia 2018 as the defending champions, and there is a strong belief amongst many that they may become the first team since Brazil in 1962 to claim back to back World Cup titles.

Germany are one of the most successful national sides and have amassed a total of four World Cup titles (1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014), a number they will certainly be aiming to increase to five at Russia this coming July.

Die Mannschaft always deliver in some capacity at World Cups tournaments, reaching the last four a record 13 times. There have only been two instances where they haven’t made the Quarter Finals, in 1938 and 1978. Taking this into consideration, it is no wonder that they are considered footballing giants on the International scene.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St-Germain).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea), Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich).

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St-Germain), Leon Goretska (Schalke), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich).

Strikers: Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).

Group Fixtures:

  1. Vs Mexico 16:00, 06.18                                  Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow
  2. Vs Sweden 19:00, 23.06.18                            Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi
  3. Vs South Korea 15:00, 29.06.18                     Kazan Arena, Kazan

Manager – Joachim Low

Stalwart international manager Joachim Low has been head coach of Germany for 12 years, and has recently extended his contract to remain manager until 2022.

Prior to his contract extension, the German was heavily linked with the vacant Arsenal job, despite not having managed at domestic level since 2004.

There is always great pressure on Germany to succeed, as they are often one of the favourites. Low has managed this pressure well, with Die Mannschaft regularly reaching the last four in major international tournaments.

Without doubt, Joachim Low will have his eye on winning the World Cup in Russia, and he knows what it takes having won last time out in Brazil 2014.

Qualification

Qualification was a walk in the park for Germany, with 10 wins out of a possible 10 in UEFA qualifying group C.

The Germans only conceded 4 times, and a scored a gargantuan 43 goals, giving them the best goal difference out of any side involved in European qualification. Undoubtedly, they will be hoping to take this form through with them to the group stages and beyond.

The domination demonstrated during qualification is one of the key reasons Germany are one of the bookies favourites to win the tournament.

Captain – Manuel Neuer

Widely regarded as the best keeper in the world, Neuer is also a great leader on the pitch, and has captained Germany since 2016.

Neuer has missed a great deal of the 2017/18 season with two metatarsal fractures, however Germany remain confident he should be fit in time for their opening game against Mexico.

With the Bayern Munich keeper managing the whole 90 minutes in the Germans first of two pre World Cup friendlies against Austria, it is likely he will be leading the team out vs Mexico in Russia. It will be vital he also gains some game time in their upcoming friendly vs Saudi Arabia as the shot-stopper has to prove his fitness and form.

Dangerman – Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich star Muller has been a key outlet for Die Mannschaft since his debut in 2009. Since then, the forward has been a key outlet in the German’s attack, netting 38 goals in 90 international appearances.

Muller is no stranger to silverware, winning an incredible 18 domestic trophies at Bayern Munich. Joachim Low will be hoping to harness his winning mentality and emit it to the rest of his squad.

Thomas Muller also boats an impressive World Cup record, having won an abundance of awards. In the 2010 competition, he won the golden boot and two man of the match performances as well as winning the best young player of the tournament. In 2014, Muller secured the silver boot, as well as a place in the All-Star and Dream-Team for the tournament.

Young Player – Timo Werner

Die Mannschaft have faced criticism for not having a dependable striker in recent time, however forward Timo Werner looks set to satisfy this issue.

At 22 years old, Werner has netted seven times in 12 international appearances, and scored nearly 50 Bundesliga goals for Stuttgart and RB Leipzig.

His impressive performances have not gone unnoticed, with Jurgen Klopp said to be a huge admirer and both Manchester clubs keeping tabs on the striker. If Werner can live up to his hype and produce a strong showing in Russia, it might not be long before we see him in the Premier League.

 PL Players

A total of three Premier League representatives will be part of Germany’s squad at the World Cup. One of these players; Ilkay Gundogan, will be brimming with confidence, having just claimed the league title with Pep Guardiola’s scintillating City side.

The remaining two Germans ply their trade in London, with Mesut Ozil at Arsenal, and Antonio Rudiger at recent FA Cup winners Chelsea.

Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Liverpool’s Emre Can are the biggest Prem players to be omitted from Joachim Low’s side, with no doubt both will be bitterly disappointed at not being part of Low’s World Cup plans.

 Prediction 

Germany are the clear favourites to win Group F, and on paper should make easy work of South Korea, Mexico, and Sweden. If they win the group, in the round of 16 Die Mannschaft will face whoever finishes second in Group E, with that race probably being between Costa Rica, Switzerland and Serbia, assuming Brazil win the Group. In the Quarters Germany could easily play England, where they will probably win on penalties……

The Germans are one of the bookies favourites to win the whole tournament and considering the quality of players and experience of the manager it is difficult to argue against Germany at least reaching the last four, if not the final.

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