Scouting Report: Germany's probable team

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The Independent Football

Manuel Neuer


Sky-scraping 23-year-old Schalke goalkeeper has been one of the finds of the tournament. Has underlined why Manchester United are chasing him with all-action displays in the group stages. Inexperienced, but his game looks solid throughout.

Philipp Lahm


Bayern Munich full-back has taken the armband in Michael Ballack's absence and has not disappointed. Twice nominated as Fifa World Player of the Year, the 26-year-old is quick on the counter-attack and possesses a sharp cross. Danger man.

Arne Friedrich


Dependable performer who has never scored for his country despite racking up more than 70 caps. Has more to play for than national pride as he is out of contract with Hertha Berlin. At 31, gives the back four experience.

Per Mertesacker


At 6ft 6in this 25-year-old has been nicknamed "the Defence Pole". Is inevitably good in the air, but may be susceptible to Rooney's trickery and pace. Supposedly on his way to Anfield from Werder Bremen.

Jerome Boateng


The brother of Portsmouth's Kevin Price Boateng has just been signed for £10m at Manchester City. Is rated as the toughest tackler in the Bundesliga, but the 21-year-old is out of position at left-back.

Sami Khedira

(Holding midfielder)

Ballack's replacement in the heart of the midfield and has been one of the German stars in the group stages. The Stuttgart player captained Germany Under-21 to glory at last year's European Championships. They beat England in the final.

Toni Kroos

(Holding midfielder)

The 20-year-old Bayern Munich player will be chucked in if Bastian Schweinsteiger fails to recover from a thigh injury. Kroos lacks the physical presence of Schweinsteiger and is no holding midfielder. But he is very creative with a volley – almost as impressive as he is with a free-kick.

Thomas Müller

(Right midfield)

Another 20-year-old with limitless potential but limited international experience. Munich man is naturally a striker but is effective operating in the hole or on the flanks. Impressive in Bayern's Champions League run.

Mesut Ozil

(Centre midfield)

The 21-year-old Werder Bremen playmaker has been arguably the best player in this tournament so far and the England defence will have the image of his goal against Ghana on constant replay in their minds. Has everything.

Lukas Podolski

(Left midfield)

Scored in first group game against Australia but Polish-born Köln striker missed a penalty and numerous chances in defeat to Serbia. Erratic but his talent is highlighted by the award of Young Player of the Year at the last World Cup – beating Messi and Ronaldo.

Miroslav Klose

(Centre forward)

Another Polish-born forward who returns after one-match ban for red card against Serbia. Won the Golden Boot as top-scorer at last World Cup. England will fear Bayern man's aerial ability – as well as his celebratory forward flip.