In our Germany Preview: World Cup 2018, we share our analysis about this Germany team who are again one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Germany Preview: World Cup 2018
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Marvin Plattenhardt, Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule
Midfielders: Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gundogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Sebastian Rudy
Forwards: Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller, Timo Werner
- Manager: Joachim Low
- Captain: Manuel Neuer
- Best Finish: Winners (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
Likely starting lineup
Amid the controversy that’s surrounded Leroy Sane’s omission from the Germany squad after his sensational campaign with Manchester City, it’s almost been forgotten just how formidable the defending champions are looking ahead of their trip to Russia.
Low may be without some stalwarts who were key four years ago, most notably Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose. But in their place others, and then some, have emerged, giving Germany a squad that is bristling with a bit of everything.
That depth was on show at the Confederations Cup in Russia last summer, when a second-string Germany team won the competition. In it, the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Leon Goretzka and Timo Werner put themselves forward as genuine competitors for starting spots in the national side.
The latter of that trio does appear set to lead the line this summer, while the rest of the likely XI does have a familiar feel to it. The Bayern trio of Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng bring continuity to the defence, while ahead of them Toni Kroos is unflappable in midfield.
With Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller set to support Werner, it’s on the left flank where Low has a big decision to make. Julian Draxler and Julian Brandt would be excellent options, although the popular choice among neutrals to play would be Marco Reus; he heads to a major tournament at last having missed the last two with injuries.
Low has shown in previous competitions that he’s not scared to mix things up in the group stages, though, so the majority of the squad should get a chance to show what they can do ahead of the knockout stages.
It’s a roster packed with quality, experience, winning mentality and players with pedigree on the world stage. All things point towards Germany being so tough to get the better of yet again at the World Cup.
Key Man – Thomas Müller
One of those players with undoubted World Cup pedigree is Muller, as he has excelled on the two occasions he’s played in the tournament.
In 2010 he wasn’t anticipated to be involved, as he was called up as a late replacement due to injury and was on the scoresheet five times. Four years ago he netted five more times, meaning only seven men in history have scored more than the 28-year-old in the World Cup.
You suspect Muller will come alive again this month, as he’s become so effective playing from the right side under Low. The Bayern man isn’t an orthodox wide player, although his linkup play, outstanding aerial ability and work-rate make him such a challenge for opposition defenders. Muller wanders into spaces that gives rivals tough choices to make.
After the retirement of some key men four years ago, Muller also heads to this tournament as one of the senior figures in the Germany team too, both in terms of his leadership and setting an example on the field. Expect him to relish that more senior role.
With the world watching there are some players you can almost guarantee will puff their chest out. Muller is one.
Germany’s Group Stage fixtures
Sunday, June 17
Saturday, June 23
Wednesday, June 27
Germany’s path to the final
If Germany wins Group F, their Round of 16 game will be against the country that finishes second from Group E which will either be Brazil, Costa Rica, Serbia or Switzerland. If Germany wins that Round of 16 game, Germany will enter the quarterfinal stage with a game against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group H (Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan) and the team that finishes second in Group G (either England, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia). If Germany advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the B1 vs. A2 versus D1 vs. C2 series.
If Germany finishes second in Group F, Germany will play the team that finishes first in Group E (either Costa Rica, Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia). If Germany wins that game, it would be in the quarterfinal against the team that is victorious between the winner of Group G (either England, Belgium, Panama or Tunisia) and the team that finishes second in Group H (either Poland, Senegal, Colombia or Japan). If Germany advances to the semi-final stage, it’ll play the winner of the quarterfinal that comes out of the A1 vs. B2 versus C1 vs. D2 series.
Germany World Cup shirt (home)
Germany & adidas have unveiled their new home jersey for 2018. The champs of 2014 are back in white and black, sporting a champions badge front and center. The shirt features a hip, geometric black and grey graphic print on the front, created with lines of different sizes. The overlap collar mimics their classic 1990 jersey, with the adidas stripes on the shoulders. Iconic “Die Mannschaft” is printed on the upper back for national pride.
Germany World Cup shirt (away)
When West Germany’s players held their nerve to overcome England on penalties after an epic semi-final encounter in 1990, the green away uniform became an overnight classic. Inspired by the dynamic design worn on that famous night in Turin, this soccer jersey is a replica of the away shirt Germany’s current stars wear.
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