Defending Champions and second favourites Germany are back, and looking to add to their haul of trophies. After demolishing Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals last time, they will be looking to repeat as champions since Brazil in 1958 & 1962.
FIFA’s current number 1 ranked team Germany are once again among the favourites for the tournament. Always efficient, and ruthlessly team oriented, the Germans are all-but guaranteed to go deep in the tournament. Having been to at least the quarter-finals of every World Cup since 1982 expect to see a lot of Germany again this summer.
Germany Squad Outlook
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Marvin Plattenhardt, Antonio Rüdiger, Niklas Süle
Midfielders: Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gündogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Sebastian Rudy
Forwards: Mario Gomez, Thomas Müller, Marco Reus, Timo Werner
Squad Talk: With one of the strongest squads in the competition, nearly all of the German players are household names across Europe. Premier League viewers will be particularly familiar with the likes of Gündogan, Rudiger and Özil. Özil in particular has been a stalwart in the Premier League for a few seasons.
Thomas Müller won the golden boot in 2010, and came second in 2014, both times with 5 goals. He’s not the prototypical striker, and you could say he doesn’t even look that good at most things. But he puts the game together much better than most. You can count on him to have a big tournament impact again.
Toni Kroos sometimes sneaks under the radar, but the talented midfielder has won the Champions league with 2 different teams. He has now played in 7 consecutive Champions League semi-finals and been an integral part in Real Madrids 3 consecutive wins.
Kroos controls the pace of the game with his calm and controlled play, and his distribution is one of the keys to Germanys dominance over the last few years. He is a box-to-box midfielder and an underrated goal threat.
Who’s The Gaffa
Joachim Löw has been the top man in Germany since 2006 after taking over from Jürgen Klinsmann. He has taken them to the European Championship finals once where they lost to Spain, and the semi-finals twice.
He guided them to third place in the 2010 World Cup, before winning the ultimate prize in 2014. Never one to rest on his laurels, the squad has been revitalised with young players over the last year or so. This young squad became the first German team to win the Confederations Cup in 2017 in Russia.
Löw is a master tactician and always manages to get the best from his players on the big stage. Still only 58, Löw has already built one of the best resumes in international football management history.
Likely Group Finish: 1st Place
There’s no question that the German’s are favourites for this group. While the other three teams all have serious questions, the only problem for Germany is the fitness of Manuel Neuer. They have such depth throughout the squad that it’s unthinkable for them not to dominate this group.
Lazy Fan Fact: Coach Joachim Löw has banned the German squad from having sex for the duration of the tournament