After dominant qualifying campaign, Germany looks to continue momentum into the World Cup
If qualifying for the World Cup is supposed to be a challenge, Germany proved that concept wrong. In 10 qualification games, Germany won a remarkable nine and drew just once. A goal differential of +26 highlights the dominance displayed. With a core of young talented midfielders, and an experienced defensive line, anyone facing Germany better expect a fierce challenge. Germany’s depth across the board stands out when breaking the team down by position.
It is no surprise heading into Brazil that Bayern Munich keeper Manuel Neuer will start between the sticks. Now at 28, and entering the prime of his career, Neuer will hope to have similar success to that of his 2010 World Cup campaign. After only allowing three goals in South Africa as well as dominating the position for childhood club Schalke 04, Bayern paid up to grab one of the best keepers in the world.
As the saying goes, defense wins championships. Germany is no exception. A strong list of defenders from Europe’s elite teams brings valuable experience against the best strikers in the world. Captain of both club and country Phillip Lahm highlights the back four.
There are many sure-fire players, including the likes of Arsena’ls Mesut Ozil, Bayern’s Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira.
It will be interesting to see how young starlets Mario Gotze and Julian Draxler will be utilized. Gotze has already shown he can handle the international level, playing in seven qualifying games, scoring four times. With Ozil presumably being the main distributer along with Schweinsteiger, that leaves Muller, Kroos, and Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus on the wings.
If there was an area where depth was not as deep, for Germany it would be their strikers. During qualification, only three strikers were used, Chelsea’s André Schurrle (who is a listed as a midfielder), Lukas Podolski of Arsenal, and Mirislov Klose of Lazio. Klose at age 35 will probably not be a dominant figure in this World Cup, and Podolski in five quaifiyers did not net a goal for Germany. For Löw this should not be a major issue as many of his midfielders can be relied on to score on a regular basis.
Germany Starting XI Projection:
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer
Defenders: LB Schmelzer; CB Boateng; CB Hummels; RB: Phillip Lahm (C)
Midfielders: LDM: Kroos; RDM: Khedria LM: Reus; CM: Ozil’ RM: Muller
Stiker: CF: Podolski
Simply put, the quality of the Bundesliga as one of the world’s best leagues (maybe the best) shines through for this national team. Germany is a force to be reckoned with.