Ger­many $5.80

Inside Sport - - Punter's Chance -

There hasn’t been a re­peat win­ner of the World Cup in more than half a cen­tury. But who is go­ing to tell the reign­ing champs they can’t do it? The Ger­man sys­tem is the envy of the foot­ball world, a con­veyor belt of tal­ent that has laid to rest per­cep­tions of die mannscha as stylis­ti­cally dour.

The dilemma fac­ing sage coach Joachim Low: stick with the he­roes of 2014, or turn to the young stars who have emerged since? It might be hard to deny the likes of for­ward Timo Werner, de­fender Joshua Kim­mich and mid­fielder Leon Goret­zka (pic­tured to­gether), even when you have Ozil, Muller, Kroos, Khedira and Hum­m­mels still grac­ing the squad. An­other of the house­hold names, all-world goal­keeper Manuel Neuer, is ba†ling back from in­jury. But if he’s not good to go, that just means Barcelona’s Marc An­dre ter Ste­gen slots into his place – and that kind of depth ex­plains Ger­many in a nut­shell.

If you put any stock in video games, a sim­u­la­tion run through the EA Sports FIFA game has Ger­many re­turn­ing to the fi­nal, although los­ing to France on penal­ties.

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