WORLD CUP FORECAST: Group G - Will Germany continue their WC consistency?
Every time a World Cup comes around, a vast majority of pundits and fans alike tip the Germans to do well.
Brazil 2014 is no exception with Joachim Low's side in a very strong position to force their way deep into the competition.
Four years ago in South Africa, a young Die Mannschaft reached the semi-finals, only to be bundled out by eventual champions Spain. Ahead of this edition of world football's greatest tournament, Germany have every conceivable chance of at least repeating the dose.
There are a number of quality attacking midfielders within the squad which will allow Low to rotate his line-up and keep the opposition guessing.
Consistency is a prerequisite for German players and this group, made up mainly of Bundesliga stars, has that in spades.
Manager: Joachim Low
Fixtures: Portugal - June 16 (Salvador), Ghana - June 21 (Fortaleza), USA - June 26 (Recife)
Past outings against group opponents: Germany and Portugal have met on 17 occasions in the past. Die Mannschaft have won nine of those meetings while being held to five draws and losing on three occasions. The most recent clash resulted in a 1-0 win to the Germans in the 2012 European Championships.
The Germans have beaten Ghana twice before in their two previous meetings. The last time they met was at the 2010 World Cup which saw Germany win 1-0 in Johannesburg.
Germany have taken on the USA nine times in the past for six wins and three defeats. The most recent meeting ended with the Americans winning 4-3 in June 2013. There have been two past World Cup clashes - in 1998 when Germany won 2-0 in the group stage - and in 2002 when the Germans saluted 1-0 in the quarter-finals.
World Cup utopia: Winning the competition for a fourth time.
Doomsday scenario: Seeing two teams finish above them in the group stage. Anything short of the quarter-finals would be a failure.
Qualified by virtue of: Finishing top of UEFA Group C qualifying.
Best result at a World Cup: WON (1954, 1974, 1990)
It's difficult to know exactly who Low will go with up front given the ability and versatility of his key attacking players.
Ozil, Thomas Muller, Gotze, Toni Kroos and Andre Schurrle will all be fighting for a start while you cannot discount evergreen veteran Miroslav Klose who continues to add to his already prolific international goalscoring record.
The Lazio striker has 14 World Cup goals to his name which has him just one behind Ronaldo's all-time record of 15 and equal with German legend Gerd Mueller. For him to hit the back of the net just once would see his name written into the record books.
The defence, led by captain Philipp Lahm and goalkeeping colossus Neuer, is assured to be stingy providing a springboard for the talented midfielders and forwards to do the damage in the final third.
Their third-place finish in 2010 will only serve the current crop with plenty of confidence as a lot of the personnel from South Africa have improved and matured over the last four years.
If Germany can assimilate to the conditions in South America, expect them to be right there at the end of the competition in early-to-mid July.
The opener against Portugal is paramount to their chances but they should be able to produce victories over Ghana and the USA which will be enough to get them through to the knockout phase for a possible meeting with Russia.
Germany certainly have the capability and potential to go all the way in Brazil but will have to navigate the likes of the hosts, reigning champions Spain and South American heavyweights Argentina if they want to lift the trophy on July 13.
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