Germany is bidding to become the first country to defend the FIFA World Cup 2018 since Brazil won the 1958 and 1962 tournaments. Four years on from their extra-time win over Argentina in Brazil, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker have all retired from international football, meaning Joachim Low had some big players to replace.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Germany Fixtures
Germany vs Mexico – 16:00, Sunday 17 June.
Germany vs Sweden – 19:00, Saturday 23 June.
South Korea vs Germany – 15:00, Wednesday 27 June.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Germany Key players
Ozil did not have a vintage European Championship as Germany crashed out in the semi-final against Germany, and he scored just once in their World Cup qualifying campaign. After coming off in the 76th minute in a recent friendly against Austria, the German Football Federation confirmed the Arsenal midfielder was suffering from a bruised knee and has spent some time training alone.
Despite making just four appearances for Bayern Munich this season after a foot fracture prematurely ended his season in September, Low announced that Manuel Neuer will be Germany’s first choice goalkeeper in the World Cup. Neuer won the Golden Glove award, the prize given to the best goalkeeper, in the previous World Cup for his outstanding range of saves and distribution.
Whether he is played as a striker, midfielder or winger, Thomas Muller has always been an important part of how Germany play. His in-game intelligence, professionalism, creativity and finishing has made him one of the most successful current players, having won everything there is to win domestically. “Today, given my experience, I try to be a positive influence on the other players,” said Muller, who now has the unusual responsibility of being an experienced player in a German squad.
In the 2014 World Cup, Germany were the pre-approval tournament favorites and as expected, they went all the way in the tournament. Once again, they will be going into a World Cup as contenders as there is no one as superior as the Die Mannschaft going into the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Let us take a look at their squad and how they will line up in the tournament.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Germany Squad
Goalkeepers: Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Jérôme Boateng (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach).
Midfielders: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen).
Forwards: Mario Gómez (Stuttgart), Timo Werner (Leipzig).
Manuel Neuer, who hardly played last season after undergoing a surgery, has not only been included in the German side but was also given the captain’s arm-band going into the tournament. So, in all likelihood, he will start in front of the goal for the Germans.
Without a doubt, Joshua Kimmich is one of the best, if not the best, right-back in the world and he will take care of the right side in the German defense. The left side will be taken care of FC Koln’s Jonas Hector as there is no one better than him in that position in Germany. The experienced pair of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng will be the central defenders.
Coming to the midfield, which is Germany’s strong zone as they left Leroy Sane in spite of the youngster having a great season with Manchester City. The five-man midfield will have Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos as the holding midfielders, Mesut Ozil at number 10 and Thomas Muller in the right-wing, a position where he excelled for Bayern Munich last season. The left-wing will be a toss-up between Marco Reus and Julien Draxler and the former is likely to get the nod ahead of Draxler.
Timo Werner, who has been brilliant of late will be the team’s forward ahead of veteran Mario Gomez.
FIFA World Cup 2018 Germany Last 11 Player
Neuer, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Khedira, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Reus and Werner.