Why Germany are favourites for Russia 2018

Yatharth Thakur Roar Rookie

By Yatharth Thakur, Yatharth Thakur is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    In a World Cup year, form and injuries take on added significance. As we look ahead to Russia 2018, reigning champions Germany still look the goods.

    It’s easy to default to the current holders as favourites, but only two teams in history have ever gone back-to-back: Italy (1934-38) and Brazil (1958-62). Here are four reasons why Die Mannschaft could be next.

    World-class between the sticks
    Though Manuel Neuer remains sidelined until the end of January, Germany’s No.1 will have plenty of game time to get in shape before the World Cup begins.

    The Bayern stopper is widely considered to be the best goalkeeper of this generation and would be crucial to Germany’s chances in Russia.

    That said, coach Joachim Löw has brilliant backup options in Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen, Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno and PSG’s Kevin Trapp.

    The defending champs are all sorted in the goalkeeping department.

    Solid backline
    There are no doubts that Löw has one of the best defensive lines at the moment. Conceding just four goals in ten qualifiers, Germany’s defence comprises a blend of experience with exciting young talents.

    Big names such as Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Shkodran Mustafi are complemented by promising youngsters – Bayern Munich’s Niklas Süle, Hertha BSC’s Marvin Plattenhardt and Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger. Strong defence goes a long way in knockout football.

    Experience in midfield
    Germany’s attacking quality in midfield was underlined in 2014 when 14 of their 18 goals in Brazil were scored by midfielders. Historically, the Germans have focused on movement and efficiency, placing emphasis on retaining possession and passing with purpose.

    The current squad consists of players like Mesut Özil, Thomas Müller, Julian Draxler, Emre Can and Sami Khedira – players who pose a goalscoring threat, as well as being technically gifted.

    Exciting attacking prospects
    Miroslav Klose rewrote history books after scoring his 16th World Cup goal against Brazil in 2014. Soon after his retirement, Germany had a big void to fill in attack.

    This proved a hurdle in Euro 2016 as they were knocked out of the competition by bitter rivals France in the semis.

    A year later, Löw took a young developmental team to Russia for the Confederations Cup. Despite their inexperience, they won the tournament, beating Chile 1-0 in the final.

    It was pleasing to witness the attacking quality in absence of big names. Players like Leroy Sane, Sandro Wagner, Timo Werner all delivered on the big stage. Experienced stars like Mario Gomez and Mario Götze add depth to the attacking options, but the younger brigade coming through makes Germany a perfectly balanced side going to Russia.

    Who’s your pick to lift the trophy in Russia?

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 1:03pm
      English twizz said | January 22nd 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

      France are the best team

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 1:21pm
      j,binnie said | January 22nd 2018 @ 1:21pm | ! Report

      Yatharth – Think like a bookie, and you won’t be far away.
      In the 17 finals played since 1950, our German football friends have finished 1st -4 times,2nd – 4 times, 3rd 3 times and 4th once.
      That works out at 11 top four places out of 17attempts.. Not bad odds. jb

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 9:28pm
        punter said | January 22nd 2018 @ 9:28pm | ! Report

        Since they lost they epic final to England in 1966. Germany has only missed the semis twice, while England has only made the semi once since.

    • Roar Guru

      January 22nd 2018 @ 4:18pm
      Rick Disnick said | January 22nd 2018 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

      Germany is generally the favourite in every World Cup campaign.

      In fact: the chances of Germany not making the semi-finals (minimum) are f@kcall and none.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:04pm
      Dexter The Hamster said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

      Fifth Reason: They are Germany.

    • January 22nd 2018 @ 5:07pm
      Brian said | January 22nd 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

      The only issue against them is that defneding champions don’t win. Despite Brazil, Italy and Germany winning 65% of World Cups ever played no one has successfully defended since Brazil in 1962. In fact of the last 4 winners, France, Italy and Spain all failed to get out of the group as defending champions whilst Brazil only made the quarters in 2006.

      One issue is usually playing heroes from yesteryear. It will be interesting how much loyalty the Germans have for Kroos, Khedira, Mueller, Ozil and other World Cup heroes.

      Certainly though I can only see France, Spain or Brazil beating the Germans and that too on a good day.

      • January 23rd 2018 @ 11:19am
        me too said | January 23rd 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        defending champions don’t usually win because european teams don’t usually win in the americas, and the american teams likewise underperform in europe. germany has the hard one under it’s belt already – now basically playing in it’s own backyard. should be strong favourites.

    • Roar Guru

      January 22nd 2018 @ 8:08pm
      That A-League Fan said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

      Germany have depth too. Won the Confederations cup with their B Team. Julian Draxler was their captain.

      • January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51pm
        j,binnie said | January 22nd 2018 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

        Kenny – There were reports that the German team that met Australia in the Confederations Cup was in fact mostly made up of third choice players being given a run.
        Draxler and Mustafi were the only players ,but unused,in the 2014 WC winning squad.. Cheers jb.

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