World Cup 2014 Team-by-Team Guide: Germany never far off glory

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Past tournaments: 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010

Previous Best: Winners 1954, 1974, 1990 (as West Germany)

How they got here:

The Germans quickly became a speck on horizon for the other countries in European qualification section Group C.

Only a crazy 4-4 draw against Sweden denied Joachim Low’s entertainers winning all 10 of their qualifying assignments, while the 36 goals they plundered was the second most from any continental side to make it to Brazil.

Star man: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Muller-sticker

Bayern Munich’s auxiliary striker top scored at the last World Cup in South Africa with five goals and even though he’s not a guaranteed starter for the Bundesliga champions he’s a man for the big occasion.

Still only 24, the versatile forward scored 18 goals in all competitions for Bayern this season, while he’s notched 16 times in 47 appearances for his country – including a quartet during qualifying.

Under the radar: Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund)

Gross

Due to the reincarnation of Philipp Lahm as a defensive midfielder maestro under Bayern boss Pep Guardiola, there is a potential space for versatile Borussia Dortmund defender Grosskreutz.

The 25-year-old could easily slot in at right back for Low’s side and truly announce himself to the world stage as a result. In a squad rammed full of stars, this is one player who could surprise.

Team nutcase: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Renowned for their efficiency and unflappability at major tournaments, it’s quite difficult to pick out a hothead from among their number.

However, as witnessed firsthand when Bayern clashed with Manchester United in the Champions League quarter-finals, Schweinsteiger is the one to watch out for. Schweiny got sent off for a second bookable offence with a dangerous lunge on Wayne Rooney.

How far will they go?

Although Germany have gone five finals without conquering the world as they have on three previous occasions, they’ve made at least the semis in the last four editions – losing to Brazil in the final of the 2002 World Cup.

This is a squad made up predominantly of players from Bayern Munich and Dortmund, the two teams which contested last season’s Champions League final, which just goes to show the strength of German football at present.

Bearing in mind they were the most convincing qualifiers from the European section too, it’s hard to see them getting stopped before the last four once again.

However, the lack of a stellar centre-forward could be the difference between them making the final.

To win the World Cup: 5/1

Best bet: Stage of elimination – Semi-final @ 7/2

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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