Monday, June 2, 2014

World Cup Predicted Lineups: Germany

In this installment of my World Cup lineups series is Germany. Die Mannschaft are considered one of the favorites, and many predict them to overtake Spain as the new powerhouse in world football. Germany have almost always performed well in World Cups, finishing in the top three in the last four World Cups. They finished as runners-up in 2002 falling to Brazil. Germany have been placed in one of the toughest groups in the tournament. They were drawn to face Portugal, Ghana and the United States. I found Germany's lineup quite difficult to predict, especially considering the question of where Joachim Löw will play captain Philipp Lahm. Lahm is capable of playing as a fullback on either side, and also has played as a defensive midfielder since the arrival of Pep Guardiola at Bayern.

Here is a summary of Germany's matches in the buildup to the World Cup from ESPN FC.

Die Mannschaft will most likely lineup in the popular 4-2-3-1 formation.

GK: Manuel Neuer - F.C. Bayern München
  • As automatic as starting spots come, Manuel Neuer will be the goalkeeper for the Germany National Team. Barring an injury, you can expect to see Neuer in the net every game, as he has earned the title of the best goalkeeper in the world. At 6'4, Neuer is no small target in goal, and his long arms and legs make it a tough task to get the ball past him. His reflexes are tremendous, and he seems to always be in the right place at the right time. Neuer will look to prove why he was voted into the FIFPro World XI for the year 2013.
RB: Jérôme Boateng - F.C. Bayern München
  • Also able to be deployed anywhere along the back line, Boateng's position will be a bit tricky, and will depend on the use of Philipp Lahm. I believe he will be played at right back, and will do it well. The German half of the Boateng brothers, Jérôme is a very strong player, who also brings some pace to the back four. He is more defensive-minded, but can join the attack up the wings and swing crosses in. One thing I am sure of, is that whoever tries to pass Germany's back four will have a hard time trying to beat this tank.
CB: Mats Hummels - Borussia Dortmund
  • A highly sought-after transfer target, Hummels has proven himself to be one of the best centre backs in the world. Only 25 years of age, Hummels will likely be a mainstay in the heart of German defense for a long time to come. He has missed time this season with both a heal and an ankle injury, but returned strong, and played very well in Borussia Dortmund's loss to Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final.
CB: Per Mertesacker - Arsenal F.C.

  • The 6'7 German Giant, Mertesacker is coming off of one of the best seasons of his career. He has formed a formidable partnership with France's Laurent Koscielny in the heart of the Arsenal defense. Mertesacker is only 3 appearances away from earning 100 caps for Die Mannschaft, and I expect those three to come in the group stage against Portugal, Ghana and the United States. Mertesacker is a strong tackler, who is more than capable of winning an aerial challenge. Mertesacker is on the slower side, and his lack of pace can hurt him if he is caught out of position.
LB: Philipp Lahm (c) - F.C. Bayern München
  • Another German player in the FIFPro World XI, Philipp Lahm has been one of the best and most consistent defenders in the world for a couple years now. Able to play on either side of the back four, and also in a holding midfield role, I believe that the captain will be playing left back in Brazil. Leading Bayern Munich to their second consecutive Bundesliga title in record time, Lahm is a motivational leader, who plays his part on the pitch. I fully expect Lahm to put in a lot of great performances as Germany try to go far in the tournament.

CDM: Bastian Schweinsteiger - F.C. Bayern München
  • Experienced, versatile, quick, smart and confident. What more could you ask for? Schweinsteiger has been a rock in central midfield for both club and country, and can do whatever you ask him to. He is as all-around gifted as a player can be. He can tackle and read the game brilliantly from a defensive point of view. He can dribble to create chances, hit the decisive pass and can also rip a shot from distance. There is no doubt in my mind that this Bavarian will be the heart of this German team, as he has been for a while now.
CDM: Sami Khedira - Real Madrid C.F.
  • The Real Madrid man missed most of this season for Los Blancos with a torn ACL suffered in November on international duty. He made his return towards the end of the season, and was thrown almost directly into the Champions League Final. In just his second game back from his injury, Khedira was forced to play with Xabi Alonso suspended for the final. Khedira is mostly a defensive-minded midfielder, and works tirelessly in helping Germany's back four. Strong on the ball, he is also a good passer and can help build attacks from the back.
RM: Thomas Müller - F.C. Bayern München
  • Only 24 years of age, and already one of the best midfielders in the world, Thomas Müller is a lock for Brazil, barring any injuries. Another original Bavarian, Müller is a regular starter for both the national team and Bayern. He is a very strong and physical player who also has some pace about him. He is a regular goal threat, having won the Golden Boot from the 2010 World Cup with five goals in the tournament, tying with Diego Forlán, Wesley Sneijder and David Villa, edging them out on assists.
CAM: Mesut Özil - Arsenal F.C.
  • Coming off of what was probably his least impressive season in a while, Mesut will be looking to get back in form for the World Cup. After his club record transfer to Arsenal from Real Madrid, Özil started the season off in fine form, but slowly dropped off, and lost his starting spot. He had a solid end to the season, and has already been linked with other top clubs like Barcelona. A skillful dribbler, Özil is most known for his playmaking abilities, which I believe are comparable to the likes of Xavi and Andrés Iniesta. I expect this star to shine bright in Brazil during the summer.
LM: Marco Reus - Borussia Dortmund
  • An all-around attacking threat, Marco Reus combines natural skill and ability with a passion that is second to none. At only 25 years of age, the Dortmund youth product has been arguably Germany's best player for the last couple years. He has it all; pace, skill, vision and a shot that could take a keeper's hand off of his wrist. Oh, and did I mention he is a lethal free kick taker? It is no wonder why he has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, and almost any team in the world would benefit from having him in their squad. One of my favorite players in the world, Reus is a symbol of class both on and off the pitch, and is capable of dropping millions of jaws every time he touches the ball.

ST: Miroslav Klose - S.S. Lazio
  • At 35 years of age, Klose is by far Die Mannschaft's oldest player, and will likely be one of the oldest players in the tournament. One of only two true forwards in Joachim Löw's 23-man roster, Klose is only one goal away from Ronaldo's all-time World Cup goalscoring record, and will look to break the record in Ronaldo's home country. Klose is the only surviving member of Germany's 2002 World Cup Final defeat to Brazil. The German legend has already stated that this will be his last World Cup, saying that he wanted one more chance to win it with Germany. A true aerial threat, Klose's leaping ability is one of the main reasons he is Germany's joint all-time leading scorer.

No comments:

Post a Comment