The 2014 champions will be looking to repeat that success in Russia, and they have the squad to do it.
Germany World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
Compiling the best-ever World Cup qualifying campaign by a European team, Germany were absolutely ruthless, winning all 10 of their games and ending up with a gargantuan goal-difference of +39. Coach Joachim Low would have been especially pleased with the way his team shared the goals out, with no fewer than 21 players on the scoresheet.
Related: World Cup TV Schedule
Key Moments in Qualifying
Keeper Manuel Neuer makes his bow as captain, while Thomas Muller ends a 10-month international goal drought in a 3-0 win over Norway.
A 2-0 win in Hanover against Northern Ireland makes it three wins out of three, courtesy of goals from Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira.
Mats Hummels’ header secures a 2-1 victory in the Czech Republic but, furious at the behaviour of Nazi sympathisers in the stands in Prague, the German players refuse to celebrate with their fans at the final whistle.
Qualification is sealed as Northern Ireland are beaten 3-1 in Belfast.
Germany World Cup Group
Germany World Cup Friendlies
On the 23rd of March Germany drew 1-1- with Spain after a Thomas Muller strike. Four days later they then lost 1-0 to Brazil. On the 2nd of June they will then play Austria, and the finally they will play Saudi Arabia on the 8th.
- 23rd March – Spain (drew 1-1)
- 27th March – Brazil (lost 1-0)
- 2nd June – Austria
- 8th June – Saudi Arabia
Related: World Cup Friendlies
Germany World Cup Fixtures
Related: World Cup Fixtures
Joachim Low, age 57 (03.02.60)
Appointed July 2006 and under contract until 2020, he is currently Europe’s longest-serving national coach. “Jogi” has done a remarkable job as Bundestrainer, steering his side to the world title in 2014 and countless near-misses in other tournaments. He has also revolutionised the German style of play, abandoning the strong arm and the safety first for dynamism and creativity.
With his 20/20 vision, exceptional distribution and icy composure, midfield ace Toni Kroos is the man who sets the strategic tone. Whether it be on or off the pitch, centre-back Mats Hummels stands for immaculate leadership.
Following a spell in the international doldrums, Thomas Muller bounced back with a vengeance in the qualifiers, scoring five goals and making seven others. Joshua Kimmich was Germany’s only ever-present on the road to Russia, notably catching the eye with his nine assists.
Manuel Neuer sat out the bulk of the campaign with a broken foot. Beset by groin and cruciate ligament injuries, attacker Marco Reus did not play in a single qualifier.
Already spoilt for choice in the midfield department, Germany have discovered yet another ace schemer in Leon Goretzka. Striker Timo Werner made an immediate impact on the side, netting three goals in just two starts in qualifying.
Related: World Cup Stadiums
Germany World Cup Squad
Preliminary World Cup Squad –
Goalkeepers – Bernd Leno, Manuel Neuer, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
Germany World Cup Injuries
Emre Can may not feature all that much considering the amount of midfield talent Germany has, but he could play in the less games if he recovers from his back injury suffered when playing for Liverpool.
Marco Reus is currently working his way back from a serious knee injury, and has often been beset by groin and ligament problems. He missed the 2014 World Cup with an ankle injury.
The Unanswered Questions
How predictable will be the make-up of the squad?
Anything but. Joachim Low has never had a deeper pool of talent at his disposal and hard choices will have to be made. He used 37 players in qualifying – and in the wake of recent German triumphs at the Confederations Cup and European Under-21s he has even more candidates to sift through.
Who could pay the price for a lack of game time at club level?
Low has to be concerned that a number of his squad are either bench fodder or struggling with injuries, not least keeper Kevin Trapp and midfielder Julian Draxler at PSG, Dortmund wide-
man Andre Schurrle and Juventus’ Benedikt Howedes. Dortmund winger Marco Reus is out until March with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Does Low have a full-back problem?
There is no real alternative to Joshua Kimmich at right-back and there is cause for concern on the other flank too. The usual incumbent, Jonas Hector – who has been sidelined of late with an ankle problem – has his limitations. RB Leipzig’s Marcel Halstenberg made his debut against England at Wembley.
False nine or target man?
Low has options. Either Sandro Wagner or Mario Gomez as a traditional centre-forward, or Timo Werner, Lars Stindl or Mario Gotze as the crafty freewheeler. Nor is a strike-duo out of the question.
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