GERMANY – Germany seek World Cup redemption

Reading Time: 4 minutes

FIFA Rankings : 11

Odds : 10-1

Previous tournaments :

Previous tournaments:Making their 20th World Cup appearance, Germany have won the title four times. After a surprise 1954 victory over favourites Hungary, they lifted the trophy as West Germany in 1974 at home and again in 1990 before their triumph at Brazil 2014.

hey were also runners-up four times and reached at least the semi-finals in all editions between 2002 and 2014.

But they suffered a shock first round exit as defending champions at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, their earliest elimination in the tournament for 80 years.

How the qualified :

The Germans, who started the qualifiers under then coach Joachim Loew before current coach Hansi Flick took over in September last year, had a near flawless run through Group J with nine wins and a loss.

Their only defeat was a 2-1 at home against North Macedonia.

They scored 36 goals and conceded just four as they finished top of the group that also included Romania, Armenia, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Form guide :

Germany had not lost a game under coach Hansi Flick until last month’s home defeat by Hungary in the Nations League. They have won nine matches, drawn five and lost one under Flick.

While they beat arguably weaker opponents en route to their World Cup qualifying group win, they have struggled to show the same consistency against tougher opponents.

Their 3-3 draw against England at Wembley in their final real test before the finals showed Flick’s team still need fine-tuning for the World Cup after giving up a two-goal lead.

 Hansi Flick’s men Seek World Cup Redemption

Germany are almost always among the title favourites at international tournaments but it is hard to predict how far Hansi Flick’s team will progress at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

The coach, who took over last year after Joachim Loew’s 15-year spell in charge, is no stranger to World Cups, having been Germany’s assistant coach in their 2014 title win, their fourth World Cup trophy.

Unlike that tournament in Brazil, however, Germany are far from favourites this time round, with bookmakers putting their pre-tournament odds at 10-1 to lift the trophy.

Given their run in recent years this does not really come as a surprise and their Group E opponents, Spain, Japan and Costa Rica, will no doubt have been briefed.

The Germans suffered a shock first-round exit as defending champions in 2018 in Russia — their earliest in 80 years — and then finished bottom in their inaugural Nations League group before a change of rules prevented them from being relegated.

At Euro 2020, held last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they crashed out at the Round of 16, a second consecutive early tournament exit.

Before 2018, the Germans had reached at least the semi-finals in every World Cup or European Championship from 2006 to 2016.

The arrival of Flick last year, after he won six major trophies with Bayern Munich, led to renewed optimism after an eight-game winning streak to start his tenure, although they came against weaker teams including Liechtenstein, Israel, Armenia and Iceland among others.

But injuries and constant changes to the squad have seen Germany win only one of their last seven internationals, with Flick still trying to find his best team.

Their loss to Hungary and the draw against England after leading 2-0 in September have raised more questions than provided answers ahead of the tournament starting on 20 November.

The backline led by Antonio Ruediger is far from finalised, with Flick also considering recalling defender Mats Hummels, who is enjoying a strong season with Borussia Dortmund.

Germany’s midfield is brimming with talent and experience with Jamal Musiala, who is in stellar form for Bayern, emerging as a key player in orchestrating their attacking game.

Up front the lack of an out-and-out centre forward remains a major question, with Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry more comfortable playing wide.

There have been calls to include 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko of Dortmund and Werder Bremen’s Niclas Fuellkrug, who leads the Bundesliga scorers’ list.

No matter what the final squad looks like, Germany fans expect nothing less than redemption in Qatar and Flick has repeatedly said the semi-final was their first goal but that he believed his team could also go all the way.

There could be no better way to make amends for the 2018 fiasco than with another world crown.

Team announced :

Maunel Neuer, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp, Armel Bella Kotchap, Matthias Ginter, Christian Gunter, Thilo Kehrer, Lukas Klostermann, David Raun, Antonio Rudiger, Nico Schlotterbeck, Niklas Sule, Karim Adeyemi, Julian Brandt, Niclas Fullkrug, Serge Gnargy, Leon Goretzka, Mario Gotze, Ilkay Gundogan, Kai Havertz, Jonas Hofmann, Joshoua Kimmich, Youssoufa Moukoko, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane