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Nickname: Die Mannschaft/ Die DFB-Elf (The Team)
Number of World Cup appearances: (As East Germany) 1 (As West Germany) 10 (As Germany) 6
Best World Cup finish: (As West Germany) Winners (1954, 1974, 1990)
Germany has advanced to at least the quarterfinal stage in each of the last four World Cups. From 1994 to 2006 they have proven their worth as one of the more accomplished and consistent football nations in the world.
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2006’s finish was a big hit, wrapping up their time as the host country with a third-place finish. Four years later a bit different look is shaping up for the Germans. Key holdovers like Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger are still focal points with the first team and quite dominant throughout European domestic football. But they will call upon newer, less experienced players to help combine with their already veteran-like presence in hopes of duplicating another strong World Cup push. Captain Michael Ballack was injured in the FA Cup Final vs. Portsmouth and is out for South Africa.
Strike Mario Gomez, 25, and midfielder Marko Marin, 21, are two young guns that can expect their roles to be big at the Finals this summer. Germany’s rising stars list begin with the aforementioned duo and they undoubtedly add more firepower to assist in attack.
2010 Germany World Cup Odds
Germany is currently listed at 12/1 futures odds to win the World Cup.
They are 8/11 favorites to win Group D.
Key Player To Watch
As mentioned above, Bastian Schweinsteiger is a key member of Germany’s offense, and personally one of my favorite players in all the world to watch play. He was only 21 during the 2006 World Cup and played in all seven games for his country, netting two goals and three assists. Quite possibly one of the most explosive wingers in the game right now, and certainly one of the more athletic, Schweinsteiger boasts a big time foot that is best optioned for long-ranged strikes. He is also versatile enough to play in the center at times. His uncapped amounts of energy make him extremely dangerous for opponents.
Best Team Asset
Pedigree. Outside of Brazil, no one has done it better than Germany. Their long history of experience at the World Cup and as well as their long record of success at the top world tournament will only further promote the confidence this side brings to South Africa. Every German footballer knows this team is capable of raising the trophy, as seen in the past by their three championships already in the books. No matter how many teams are favored ahead of Germany, never write this team off.
Key Team Weakness
Germany must find a consistent force in the net, not being able to count on the dominance seen by past keepers Oliver Kahn or Jens Lehman. Those two were as good as it got when they minded the posts for Germany on the international level. Whether it be a Rene Adler, Manuel Neuer or Tim Wiese, neither will have the experience nor perhaps the skill for the position, so that is a weakness that can be a potential concern.
Germany World Cup Predictions
Similar to the other football powers in the world, you can count on Germany being in the thick of things once the group play cloud blows over. Granted, this year’s team is not as talented as the ’06 version that finished in third as hosts. However, there is plenty of skill to gasp at and feel confident in and this team will be a major player in South Africa. That being said, it’d be in the Germans’ best interest to win Group D if they want to elongate their run and avoid potentially playing England in the Round of 16.
Key First Round Match (best betting opportunity)
Germany’s opener game v Australia on June 13 is a great chance to jump on the Germans to begin their campaign. Australia will be a huge underdog, but you can still catch Germany at -175 or -190 in this spot. They will overwhelm the Aussies and likely find their easiest match in a difficult group.
Germany World Cup Group Play Schedule
v. Australia, June 13, 2010 – 10 a.m. ET at Durban (Durban)
v. Serbia, June 18, 2010 – 7:30 a.m. ET at Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth)
v. Ghana, June 23, 2010 – 2:30 p.m. ET at Soccer City (Johannesburg)
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