The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is less than a year away and Germany are the bookies’ favourites to go all the way.
Joachim Low’s side are the defending champions, boasting a wealth of talent and have been consistent performers in the last handful of major international tournaments.
So will Germany be the first side to defend the World Cup since 1962?
Confederations Cup performance highlights strength in depth
Germany are currently in the semi-finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup with a considerably weakened squad. Most recently, the Eagles thrashed an experienced Mexico side 4-1 in the semi-finals of the tournament, having progressed through Group B unbeaten.
In the Confederations Cup, Euro 2016 winners Portugal, CONCACAF Championship & Gold Cup winners Mexico, African Cup of Nations winners Cameroon, OFC Nations Cup winners New Zealand, Copa America winners Chile, World Cup host nation Russia and AFC Asian Cup winners Australia made up Germany’s opponents.
To be 90 minutes from winning the tournament with a squad that omitted Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Juventus’ Sami Khedira, Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle highlights how much strength in depth Germany have.
Consistency in international tournaments
Germany have been frequent performers in major international tournaments for the last decade and that doesn’t appear set to change. In the UEFA European Championship, Germany finished runners-up in the 2008 iteration and in the semi-finals (third place) in 2012 and 2016. In the FIFA World Cup, Germany’s deep runs have extended even further. They finished runners-up in 2002 and were third place in 2006 and 2010, before winning the 2014 tournament.
Germany seem to have a real affinity with the World Cup when looking at their record. On only two occasions since 1978 have the Eagles failed to reach the semi-finals which highlights how much they prioritise the tournament. Four-times winners of the World Cup, since the tournament’s inception in 1930, Germany have been runners-up on four occasions, reached the semi-finals five times and made the quarter-finals three times from a total of 20.
They come into next year’s competition as favourites, with Brazil, Spain, Argentina, France expected to challenge. If successful in 2018, Germany could retain the World Cup for the first time since 1962 – Brazil would go on to win three World Cups from four. Germany are 11/2 to win the 2018 World Cup, which would see them draw level with Brazil (five times) for the most wins.
Can anyone beat Joachim Low’s side?
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