GER­MANY

Daily Mail - - World Cup 2018 -

THE BOSS JOACHIM LOW

Ger­many’s World Cup-win­ning boss has reached at least the semi-fi­nals in his five ma­jor tour­na­ments in charge. He has put ex­tra pres­sure on him­self by ax­ing Leroy Sane, voted the Premier League’s best young player by his peers.

THE STAR ME­SUT OZIL

I have been crit­i­cal of Ozil’s dis­plays for Ar­se­nal this sea­son. It feels as if he has been sav­ing him­self for the World Cup. If he per­forms the way we know he can, Ozil can be Ger­many’s star man. He is the glue that holds ev­ery­thing to­gether.

THE PROSPECT TIMO WERNER

The 5ft 11in for­ward, 22, is an ice-cool fin­isher. He scored 21 goals in all com­pe­ti­tions for RB Leipzig de­spite a sea­son dis­rupted by ill­ness and in­jury. Werner al­ready has eight goals in his first 14 caps.

KEY STRENGTH

Ev­ery­where you look, there are top play­ers. Such is Ger­many’s strength that the likes of Ilkay Gun­do­gan, Ju­lian Draxler and An­to­nio Rudi­ger may have to set­tle for a place on the bench. Marco Reus is back, too, af­ter miss­ing both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 through in­jury. Ger­many al­ways ar­rive at tour­na­ments supremely con­fi­dent.

BIG­GEST WEAK­NESS

It is hard to pin­point a sin­gle weak­ness, but the Ger­mans have only won one of their last six games — al­beit fac­ing the likes of France, Spain and Brazil in that run. Yet how of­ten do we see this win­ning ma­chine turn up at tour­na­ments and hit top gear?

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