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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group D - Germany

Nickname – Die Mannschaft (The Team), (The DFB-Eleven)

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Even though everyone was left wondering if Russia would make the top spot, Germany with their incisive and cold approach manage to end 1st with 26 points out of 30 ahead of Russia with 22 points and undefeated Finland with 18 points (they drew both games with Germany). Klose scoring 7 goals was decisive especially in the penultimate game where he scored the winning goal against Russia.

H2H

Jun 13 Durban Germany v Australia - Back in 2005 playing in the Confederations Cup, Germany won 4-3 against Australia. Other than that match we will have to go further back to 1974 world cup when Australia loss 2-0 against the fellow Germans.

Jun 18 Pt Elizabeth Germany v Serbia - Germany won the only 2 encounters played between them. 2-1, 1-0. If you prefer to go back in time when Serbia was Yugoslavia then the counter slightly changes seeing Germany winning 16 times, drawing 4 and losing 7.

Jun 23 Johannesburg Ghana v Germany - Germany trashed Ghana 6-1 in their only match played back in 1993.

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Schalke), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Hans-Jorg Butt (Bayern Munich)

Defenders: Dennis Aogo (Hamburg), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (Stuttgart)

Midfielders: Sami Khedira (Stuttgart), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen), Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

Strikers: Cacau (Stuttgart), Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Cologne).

FORMATION

Joachim Löw organizes his methodological squad through a 4-4-2 but recently has been trying to merge its primary formation with a 4-2-3-1. Manuel Neuer; Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng, Westermann; Mezut Ozil, Schweinsteiger; Trochowski, Podolski, Klose & Marin/Khedira/Cacau/Muller.

BEST PLAYERS

Philipp Lahm is by far the best German player nowadays. Plays left, right, up & down, non-injury prone, stamina is what makes him an invaluable player that plays on top of form constantly whether it is domestically or in the international stage. Played 54 matches scoring 1 goal and assisting 8 times, sees how prolific this asset can be. His box-2-box variations are one of the departments where Germany can rely if they aim to be champions in the end.

Mesut Ozil is a young however experienced no.10 that plays for Werder Bremen. He is exceptional with the ball in his foot creating frequently innovative moves in the offensive line. The European u-21 championships saw him deliver so much as a player that soon he was making part of the German National squad coached by Low. His records this season portray what he can continuously bring to his side, 34 matches, 9 goals and 14 assists. Once Ballack is out, there’s Ozil to bring some magic.

Schweinsteiger is a Bayern Munich player that holds a regular position in the starting line-up in both club/nation. He is an explosive player in all contexts, whether we talking about discipline or we are talking about his powerful long range strike. He is a versatile player that is able to occupy every position in the midfield due to his tactic’s mastery, but is often seen playing on the wings. With 25 years old he has already 70 caps, meaning he could go to break Matthaus record in the future (150 caps). This season has played 57 matches scoring and assisting 4 times.

Miroslav Klose was the top scorer of the last World Cup. He is flawless in terms of aerial ability but scores as well with both feet. Qualifying stages saw him scoring 7 goals and assisting once in his 8 match spells. His experience in World cup Finals could prove to be very efficient regardless his slow mobility he has the pedigree to be at the right time in the right place.

SURPRISE

Late omission is the much debated injury of Ballack and exclusion of Torsten Frings.

STATEMENTS

"We've been very successful in the past, and that's an inspiration to the next generations. You only have to look at Germany's record at major tournaments. We won the World Cup in 1954, '74 and '90, and the European Championship in '72, '80 and '96. We've made it through to finals at least as often. We've grown up with the conviction that Germany are always good enough to reach the Final. We're definitely among a group of countries with a chance of taking the Trophy. We were third at the World Cup and second at the EURO, so our goal for 2010 is to make the Final and win the Trophy." Philipp Lahm

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- Joachim Löw –

Career made of 216 matches with 51% Win, 22% Draw, 27% Loss, GS 1,92 GA 1,06

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – Germany have never lost against any of the teams in the group D. Germany is always tipped to win the World Cup as they already won it 3 times, but a European team never won outside European soil. Their well structured squad alongside their tough physical approach plays a key factor in Germany’s way of play.

Weaknesses – Likewise England, they have failed to win matches against major nations, but the difference is that related to England has happened in friendly matches while Germany has happened in the last stages of European Championships and World Cup as well. The pressure is on young Ozil or Khedira to fulfill the Kaiser’s position of Ballack.

Opportunities – Germany might focus on the first position while Serbia and Ghana fight for the 2nd post unless Germany tends to emulate Italy/France from previous European Championships.

Threats – If they miss too much Ballack will mean their dependency could be costly even though that does not seem to be on the horizon.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Germany is on the top 6 ahead of Argentina and England and behind of Italy, Netherlands and Portugal.

ACHIEVEMENTS

3 FIFA World Cup – 1954, 1974, 1990;

3 UEFA European Championships – 1972, 1980, 1996;

1 Olympic gold medal – 1974.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

China 1 1 Germany

UAE 2 7 Germany

Azerbaijan 0 2 Germany

Germany 2 0 South Africa

Germany 4 0 Azerbaijan

Russia 0 1 Germany

Germany 1 1 Finland

Germany 2 2 Ivory Coast

Germany 0 1 Argentina

Germany 3 0 Malta

Hungary 0 3 Germany

Germany 3 1 Bosnia


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