Germany World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Monday 11 June 2018 15:54 BST
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2018 Russia World Cup in numbers

Germany are bidding to become the first country to defend the World Cup 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 has had some big players to replace.

Low took a young and inexperienced side to the 2017 Confederations Cup and won the tournament while assessing the next generation of players at his disposal. Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner and Leon Goretzka all impressed in the World Cup warm-up tournament and are part of the team travelling to Russia this summer.

One surprise omission from the German squad is PFA Young Player of the Year and Premier League winner with Manchester City, Leroy Sane. “I’m obviously very disappointed I won’t participate in the World Cup, but I have to accept this decision and I’ll give it my all to bounce back stronger,” Sane said. “Nothing but best to the team in Russia. Go get that title!”

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

Key players

Mesut Ozil: 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.

Ozil has a point to prove after underwhelming at Euro 2016
Ozil has a point to prove after underwhelming at Euro 2016 (AFP/Getty Images)

Manuel Neuer: 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.

Thomas Muller: Whether he is played as a striker, midfielder or winger, Thomas Muller has always been an important part of how Germany play. His 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.

One to watch

Timo Werner: Making his inaugural appearance in a major tournament for Germany, Timo Werner may be the fast and clinical striker that Germany have lacked in recents years. His speed and finishing have made him one of Leipzig’s prize possessions, and the 22-year-old has already made over 150 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 47 goals.

How did they get here?

Germany breezed through their group with a perfect 10 wins from 10 games to top their table ahead of Northern Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Azerbaijan and San Marino. They scored joint high 43 goals and only conceded four times.

How will they do?

The expectation among the German coaches, players and supporters is that they will retain their World Cup. Anything less might be a disappointment, especially given they did not make the finals in the recent European Championship. They feel, and rightly so, that they have the squad to be able to beat any team they face.

Odds on Germany winning the World Cup: 9/2

Squad

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Marc-André ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp.

Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels, Antonio Rüdiger, Jonas Hector, Marvin Plattenhardt, Niklas Süle, Joshua Kimmich.

Midfielders: Julian Brandt, Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Ilkay Gündogan, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Sebastian Rudy.

Forwards: Marco Reus, Thomas Müller, Mario Gomez, Timo Werner.

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