At last! We started on the 19th May with Brazil, and he we are three weeks later, finishing with Germany! We have really learned a lot about each and every side in the competition, and as well as helping you all, we have helped ourselves. Hope you have enjoyed! __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Germans have always had a strong team, and recently have taken in a fresh batch of youngsters. The likes of Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan and most recently Erik Durm and Kevin Volland have been in squads (the first few a couple of years back now). Add the likes of Klose, Muller and Neuer and you have a cracking squad. Last time out of felled England but eventually fell themselves in the Semi’s. This time around, again in a hot part of the World, we think they will be more the wiser! Here is their squad:
GK’s: Manuel Neuer, Roman Weidenfeller, Ron-Robert Zieler
DF’s: Jerome Boateng, Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz, Benedikt Howedes, Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Shkodran Mustafi
MF’s: Julian Draxler, Matthias Ginter, Mario Gotze, Christoph Kramer, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Andre Schurrle, Bastian Schweinsteiger
FW’s: Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski
Coach – Joachim Low
Missing – Marco Reus
Qualifying: They walked the whole thing! 9 wins and a draw, with a healthy goals tally of 36 meant they had all but qualified several games from the end, with Sweden and Austria the only ones providing any real competition. They did leak 10 goals though in their 10 games – a possibly weakness?
Ones to Watch:
Sami Khedira – he has just recovered from an ACL injury and has not played a lot of club football this season with Real Madrid. Named captain by Joachim Low, he is a key figure in the squad, though if he is not upto full fitness the likes of Neuer, Hummels or Schweinsteiger could easily fill the void.
Miroslav Klose – in his last World Cup he will want to beat the record for goals at a World Cup. He is currently on 14. Keep an eye on him!
Thomas Muller – after a decent season with Bayern, and with Reus’ injury, the pressure is now on Muller to produce the goods! He has the talent, but can he step up on the big stage?
(4-2-3-1): Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Howedes, Lahm, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Gotze, Muller, Klose. One of the strongest lineups in the world right now! Something to resolve for Low is playing style – play keep ball, tiki-taka football like Bayern, or slightly more direct, counter attacking football like Dortmund? He may try to go find a middle ground, as both have their flaws. Marco Reus was injured in the final warm up game and misses the tournament to the disappointment of many, so we will probably see Gotze in his place, with Low liking to play three behind a striker that interchange positions.
Winner – 6/1
Group Winner – 8/15
To Qualify – 1/10
Round of Elimination: Semi Finals – 7/2
Over 6.5 Points – 7/10
Over 6.5 Goals – 6/5
They will get through the groups, 95% most likely as Group Winners (8/15), and we think they will reach the Semi Finals again, maybe Quarters, and fall to Argentina. Their reliance on one striker in an ageing Miroslav Klose could backfire, with German teams falling from grace in the Champions League – other nations now know the weaknesses of most of their players, mainly from the two main clubs (Dortmund and Bayern). Our Top Tip however is Group Winner @ 8/15 and Over 6.5 Group Points @ 7/10