World Cup Team Preview: Germany May Be A Favorite, But Still Have Questions
For the years leading up to the 2014 World Cup, Germany has been considered a favorite given their deep player pool and number of skillful players featuring in top leagues around the world. However, the last eight months have been filled with uncertainties for coach Joachim Low and his staff. A large number of injuries, including many still bothering key players, have made roster choices trickier than expected.
Regardless of those injuries, they will still take a talent-laden roster to Brazil and are expected to easily advance out of their group, possibly prior to playing the USMNT at the end of June. Where they will end up is still to be determined and there will be more leading up to the tournament about Germany and all nations in the World Cup.
Also, look for another roster prediction for die Mannschaft on the first Thursday of May. This preview has moving parts, but here is a look at the team that is expected to win Group G.
It is yet to be seen if Germany will go with the false nine and not field a true striker. A lot of the top options have either battled injuries or had mediocre seasons with their respective club teams. Mario Gomez and scoring leader Miroslav Klose are the best options on the radar. Youngster Max Kruse has been making a name for himself in the Bundesliga. Kruse is more crafty while Gomez and Klose are true target forwards.
Mysteriously, Stefan Kiessling is missing from the candidates. He has been absent from the German team sheets despite his great form. He struggled with his own injury, but has shown that he still has a scoring touch despite Bayer Leverkusen‘s struggles.
This is the strength of the German team. Even with injuries to Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and Sami Khedira, there is plenty of talent to lock down the midfield. Three Bayern Munich players can be interchanged with Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm expected to provide quality minutes. Khedira is said to be returning from injury soon.
It is on the wings where Germany features a plethora of dynamic players. A couple of guys making waves in the Champions League, Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle, may be fighting for the same spot. Reus has also been successful playing centrally. Then there is Mario Gotze, who could be featured as the false nine, and Thomas Muller. Lukas Podolski has regained form for Arsenal and Julian Draxler is a sign of incredible depth for Germany.
There are a lot of moving parts and injury concerns on defense at this moment. The injuries seem minor at this point and there are seven solid players who could have an impact on the World Cup. The two most important could be Benedikt Howedes and Mats Hummels. The right back position will be interesting as they will have to battle Cristiano Ronaldo. That could be Jerome Boateng, who seems to be the utility defender.
Germany should still win the group and will have a rather easy second round match. The biggest match of the entire tournament could be in the semifinals if Brazil and Germany get there. It will be the end of the road for Germany if Brazil is their opponent.