Germany have qualified for every World Cup they have chosen to play in. They did not take part in the 1930 competition. Also, they were banned from the 1950 competition. They have won four trophies, in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014.
When Germany lifted the World Cup trophy in 2014, observers around the world expected them to dominate world football in the foreseeable future, just as Spain had done a few years earlier. However, what actually happened was just the opposite. At World Cup 2018, Germany failed to get past the group stage. In Euro 2020, they lost in the round of 16.
Rebuilding Under Flick
The good news is that they have started rebuilding rapidly under their new manager Hansi Flick. Germany have won all eight games played on Flick’s watch. In the process, they have scored 33 goals while conceding only two. Before Joaquim Low quit as the team manager, Germany had beaten Iceland and Romania and lost to North Macedonia in the World Cup qualifiers.
Flick’s arrival had a galvanising effect, and Germany became the first, other than hosts Qatar, to qualify for WC 2023. Germany are currently 12-placed in the rankings. With Spain, Japan and Costa Rica for company, Germany are placed in arguably the toughest group of WC 2023.
Bookmakers offer odds of 9/1 on Germany’s chances of winning the World Cup. Only five teams, Brazil, France, England, Argentina and Spain, are assigned lower odds. From German fans’ perspective, there is little pressure of expectation.
Germany’s Potential Route to the Title
They will play their opening match versus Japan on 23 November in Al Rayyan’s Khalifa International Stadium. They will play their second match against Spain on 27 November before ending their group engagements with a match against Costa Rica on 1 December. Both matches will be held in Al Khor.
Germany are expected to qualify along with Spain from Group E. If Germany top Group E, they will meet the runners-up of Group F in the round of 16 on 5 December in Al Wakrah. Group F is comprised of Belgium, Canada, Morocco, and Croatia. Belgium are expected to top the group. Germany could have it easy against any of the other sides.
In the quarter-finals, they will face off against the winning team from match 54. That match will see a clash between the winner of Group G (probably Brazil) and the runner-up of Group H (probably Uruguay). If they get past that hurdle, Germany will meet the winner of match 57 in the semi-final. The rival team could be winners of group A or C, or runners-up of group B or D. Their potential rivals could be one of England, France, Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Poland, USA, and Argentina.
Assuming that they are runners-up of group E, Germany will meet the winners of Group F in the round of 16. That match will be held on 3 December in Al Rayyan. If they win that game, they will face the winners of match 56 in the quarter-finals. That match will be between the winners of group H and the runners-up of Group G. In the semi-finals, they will meet the winners of Group B or D or runners-up of group A or C.
Players Likely to Feature
Germany are yet to announce their team for the 2023 World Cup. However, we expect the following players to be on the flight to Doha, Qatar:
- Manuel Neuer
- Thomas Muller
- Ilkay Gundogan
- Joshua Kimmich
- Antonio Rudiger
- Serge Gnabry
- Niklas Sule
- Kai Havertz
Player to Watch
Bayern Munich winger Serge Gnabry is the man to watch in the German lineup. However, Gnarby attracts Golden Boot odds of 25/1, with at least ten players rated higher. That said, Gnarby helped Germany in the qualifiers with four goals from his last seven matches. In all, Gnarby has scored 20 goals in 34 international games.
Germany are admittedly not the most talented team in the world. However, as a punter, you would underestimate them at your own peril. Germany’s exploits at World Cup 2014 remain fresh in memory.
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