2014 World Cup Preview: Germany
The Germans will be looking to make history as the first European team to ever win a Cup in the Americas, but will the perennial powerhouse live up to the hype that surrounds them heading into the tournament?
Germany‘s rich World Cup history and current crop of talent lends many to believe that this could be the team that breaks the European’s drought on foreign soil, but as one of the betting favorites, the Germans will have a target on their backs throughout the tournament.
Germany punched its ticket to the World Cup by topping Group C in European qualification. The Germans showed few weaknesses in qualification as they touted an impressive record of 9-0-1 while scoring 36 goals and only allowing 10. After back-to-back semifinal appearances in the past two World Cups, the Germans will be as hungry as ever to claim their fourth World Cup title
Germany does not have to just rely on one superstar as their midfield is overflowing with talent and the defense features the likes of Phillip Lahm and Per Mertesacker, but will a lack of a true No. 9 up top be their downfall?
The Germans will try to use Marco Reus as their point-man, but if the Borussia Dortmund man has problems at the top of the attack, Germany will likely have to re-insert Miroslav Klose or Lukas Podolski into the starting 11.
While it is unclear how the German forwards will fare at the World Cup, the midfield will look to pick up the slack as Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Andre Schurrle control the middle of the park.
In what is termed the “Group of Death” by many, the Germans will need to bring their A-game in a group that also features Portugal, Ghana and the United States. Germany’s mettle is likely to be tested in a group where every game promises to be close, but in the end the Germans should move on as they remain heavy favorites to top the group.
Germany has learned the hard way that the game can be a cruel mistress sometimes, but will hope for better days this year as they look to get over that final hurdle that has tripped the side up time and time again.
This German side is filled with talent and depth few others have, but it will be the team’s performances at the business end of the tournament that truly determines if this World Cup is a success or a failure. Germany has a tough road ahead, but should ultimately make it to the final in an all European showdown on South American soil where the team will meet Spain. In a battle of midfields, Germany will face heartbreak yet again as they fall in what could be one of the greatest games of all time.
Greg Douglas is a soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.
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