GROUP D: Can the well-known German efficiency get the job done in South Africa?

The Germans are one of the best performed teams in World Cup history, winning it on three occasions, achieving a third-placed finish three times and being runners-up once.

The Germans are one of the best performed teams in World Cup history, winning it on three occasions, achieving a third-placed finish three times and being runners-up once.

Their efficiency is key and their teams usually possess plenty of depth meaning injuries and poor form to stars are generally not a worry.

As they approach this year’s tournament, injuries have been the main talking point surrounding Joachim Low’s men with skipper Michael Ballack and a handful of others set to miss.

But Germany always seems to overcome adversity in major tournaments. They are perennial achievers on the world stage and this year it is expected to be no different.

They are favourites to top their group and they should do with relative ease despite the fact they are without a few first-team regulars but as stated before, their depth is fairly strong and with World Cup specialist Miroslav Klose doubling with Lukas Podolski up front, goals should not be too hard to come by.

I can see progress to the quarter-finals where they may come up against Argentina but perhaps that’s as far as things will go but with the Germans, you will always get a tough contest and positive results have been a common occurrence throughout their footballing history.

Germany

Playing schedule: Australia (Durban) June 13; Serbia (Port Elizabeth) June 18; Ghana (Johannesburg) June 23

Also known as: Die Mannschaft (The Team)
Manager: Joachim Low (GER)
Captain: Philipp Lahm
Key players: Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski
Wildcard: Cacau
Player to watch: Mesut Ozil
Most caps: Lothar Matthaus (150). Of this squad: Miroslav Klose (96)
Top goalscorer: Gerd Muller (68). Of this squad: Miroslav Klose (48)
FIFA ranking: 6
Qualifying: Top in UEFA group stage.
Appearance: 17th
Best result: Winners – 1954, 1974 & 1990

Germany squad

Goalkeepers

Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04)
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)

Forwards

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

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