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World Cup 2014 Guide: Germany

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Löw’s Germany side made World Cup qualifying look easy by winning 9 and drawing just 1 of the ten qualifiers and have been placed in Group G alongside Portugal, Ghana and USA, and will be expecting to get out of the group as winners. They are ranked number 2 in the World by FIFA and are the 3rd favourites by the bookmakers, ahead of current holders Spain and behind only Argentina and the hosts Brazil. The German public will be expecting great things of this side after impressing in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euro’s, they will be expected to progress onto being successful and winning a major international tournament. Germany have a wealth of talent available in midfield and will look to dominate possession against any opposition they face, using a 4-2-3-1 formation that allows them to utilise that abundance of talented midfielders. Seen by many as the best European side heading to Brazil, can Germany meet expectations and go on to lift the World Cup?

Key Players

Manuel Neuer – The Bayern Munich and Germany number one will be vital to the success of Germany in Brazil, playing behind a defence that is not as solid as some German teams of the past. Neuer will be called upon to make saves in games and his concentration will be vital as there may be long periods of time where he isn’t required to do anything before being suddenly called into action. Cristiano Ronaldo will be keen to test him, after scoring past him for Real Madrid recently in the Champions League. Neuer’s distribution has been applauded throughout the footballing world and he actually has a World Cup assist to his name, as he provided the pass for Miroslav Klose to score past England in 2010.

Philipp Lahm – He is Germany’s captain and could feature at his regular position at right back or in the centre of the midfield as a holding midfielder, the position Pep Guardiola has regularly used him in for Bayern Munich this season. In either position he oozes class as he rarely loses possession of the ball and whilst playing at full back he is exceptional at timing over-lapping runs to put the opposition defence under pressure. Described by Pep Guardiola as “Perhaps the most intelligent player” he has ever trained, a massive compliment considering the players that the former Barcelona managed has managed. Lahm has had massive success at club level with Bayern Munich and would love to add international success to his medal count.

Mesut Ozil – He is the most expensive German player of all time following his £42.5 million move to Arsenal from Real Madrid last summer. He found the net an impressive 8 times for Germany in qualifying and will be determined to put an under-whelming first season in English football behind him. He is the main attacking outlet for Germany and it was his performances in the 2010 World Cup that first earned him the move to Real Madrid. He was exceptional in 2010 and the Germany supporters will be hoping he can continue on from where he left off in South Africa. His eye for a killer pass will be vital in unlocking the tight opposition defences in Brazil, and as he proved in the qualifying campaign he can also find the net himself.

Miroslav Klose – Klose is heading towards featuring in his 4th World Cup tournament for Brazil and this could be his most important one yet. With 14 goals across the previous three tournaments, Klose goes to Brazil knowing that he is just two goals from becoming the top World Cup goal scorer of all time. He is also currently the joint-top goal scorer for the German national team, with the legendary Gerd Muller. Having scored at least 4 goals in the previous three, another record which he currently holds, Klose will be confident that he can go down in history for his country and at World Cups. He is a confident finisher and has an exceptional record of scoring headers, so he will be hoping his teammates, such as Ozil, Muller and Reus can provide him with the opportunities he needs to score the goals that take him to the record.

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