Germany head to Russia this summer hoping to win the World Cup for a record-equaling fifth time. Drawn in Group F for the tournament, Germany face Mexico in Moscow on June 17 before meeting Sweden in Sochi six days later. They conclude the group stages with a trip to Kazan to face South Korea on June 27.
Germany qualified for Russia with a perfect record of 10 wins out of 10 in Group C of the qualification stage. Joachim Löw’s side scored 43 goals and conceded just four. However, they have since drawn friendly matches against England, France and Spain, while their most recent outing against Brazil ended in 1-0 home defeat.
The Germans head into the tournament as 9/2 joint favourites alongside five-time winners Brazil and punters can use this free World Cup bet to wager on the outcome. In addition to winning the World Cup on four previous occasions, Germany has finished as runners-up four times and reached 13 semi-finals. They have progressed to the semi-finals in the last four tournaments and go to Russia as defending champions having defeated Argentina 1-0 after extra-time in the 2014 final.
Germany’s performance in the last four against Brazil will live long in the memory, with the Samba Kings crushed 7-1 – the largest ever margin of victory in a World Cup semi-final. One worry for Germany will be the recent record of the defending champions in the subsequent tournament.
Three of the last four winners – France, Italy and Spain – have failed to progress from the group stage having won the tournament four years earlier.
Opening opponents Mexico will be participating in their seventh consecutive World Cup finals, but they have failed to beat Germany in five previous meetings. Sweden, who return to the World Cup finals after a 12-year absence, haven’t beaten Germany in their last seven matches, while South Korea have triumphed just once in their three previous meetings with Die Mannschaft.
The likes of Brazil, Spain and France are expected to be amongst Germany’s biggest rivals for glory in Russia, but it’s difficult to imagine Low’s side not reaching at least the semi-finals this summer.
If Germany finish top of their opening group they would face either Switzerland, Costa Rica or Serbia in the last 16. A possible quarter-final meeting with either Belgium or England would hold no fears for Germany, setting up a probable last four showdown with either Spain or Argentina.
Germany are priced at 5/2 to reach the final and that looks a solid wager about a team who have lost just one of their last 23 matches.
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen).
Defenders: Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Münich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Jonas Hector (Cologne),
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City).
Forwards: Andre Schürrle (Borussia Dortmund), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Thomas Müller, Sandro Wagner (Bayern Munich).