Many countries have been touted as being favourites to succeed in Brazil next year. History suggests that teams from South American win World Cups held in this part of the world. Stats like this however are going to be broken one day and why not on possibly the greatest stage of all.
Germany’s latest crop of young players has been heavily fancied in the last two International competitions. They have fallen short in both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 each time dropping out in the Semi Finals. These experiences will be crucial if Germany is going to go that one step further in Brazil.
Brazil and Argentina, along with holders Spain, seem to be the bookies choice to challenge Germany. This may play into Joachim Löw’s hands because pressure will be channelled away from his team. Nevertheless, the Bundesliga’s rise in popularity and the wealth of immensely talented players now showcasing their skills across Europe suggests it is hard to forget how much a threat Germany will be.
Joachim Löw has a team full of attacking prowess at his disposal. It will be difficult for the Germany manager to decide whom to bring in his squad. The incredible Miroslav Klose has a stunning record at international level, but at the age of 35 surely it’s time Germany look to Mario Gomez as their main man. Gomez moved to Fiorentina in the summer and has so far continued his goal scoring abilities, scoring two goals in three appearances before suffering a knee injury which has kept him out of action since September.
Behind the front man, Thomas Müller has to be first choice. The last few tournaments he has been pushed out wide and not been as effective, but his form from attacking midfield role in the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich recently has been too hard to ignore. Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus has made the left wing position his own and Joachim Löw must play him there in Brazil, he is a bag of tricks and is sure to prove he is one of the best wingers in the tournament. André Schürrle is the one man who may have damaged his place in Germany’s starting eleven. Moving to Chelsea has seen him be in and out of the side and fail to find the form he showed at Bayer Leverkusen. His former team-mate Sidney Sam looks to be playing his way into contention with a rampant 11 goals in 18 games this season. All these players and we still haven’t mentioned the charismatic Mesut Özil, whose creativity will be sorely needed to expose oppositions’ defences in Brazil.
Germany have been dealt a cruel blow with the anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered by Sami Khedira, but as examined in our post about Khedira’s injury, have a good amount of ready made replacement options, from the Bender twins to Borussia Dortmund’s İlkay Gündoğan.
It may be the maturity of the defence that could hold the key to success. Philipp Lahm will wear the captain’s armband and will no doubt lead his team out from the back as he has done on so many occasions for Bayern Munich. Mats Hummels has now gained plenty of international experience and alongside his partner Per Mertesacker who has impressed since his shaky arrival at Arsenal, the two should be strong enough to hold off the vibrant attacking forces across the world. Manuel Neuer in goal needs to lose some of his arrogance – he is no doubt one of the best keepers in the world but he will be experiencing a lot more action in Brazil than he does for his club Bayern.
Qualification for the World Cup has been simple once more. Nine wins and a draw saw an unbeaten run to Brazil with an ample amount of goals scored. It is important that Germany keep their ruthless mentality and good team spirit for this is just as important as having world-class players. Germany must test themselves against more top opposition in the run up to the World Cup so that they can peak at the right time and bring the World Cup back to Germany for the first time since 1990.