Today, the 20th FIFA World Cup will start in Brazil. As a German fan, it's not acceptable to not post something about that :)
In the preliminary round Germany won all but one match (that unbelievable 4-4 draw with Sweden) and as always are one of the favorites. The friendly matches weren't that promising, but that has always been the case with Germany. However what's a problem is the injury of Marko Reus, forcing him to miss the World Cup. Undoubtedly he's one of the best attacking players of Germany and his absence will be missed, but hopefully the others will step up. So the squad that Low, took in Brasil is:
Goalkeepers: Neuer, Weedenfeller, Zieler
Defence: Grosskreutz, Hoewedes, Hummels, Lahm, Mertesacker, Boateng, Mustafi, Durm
Midfield: Ginter, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Oezil, Schuerrle, Podolski, Muller, Draxler, Kroos, Goetze, Kramer
There are still some uncertainties about who will be the starting eleven, considering the injuries of Neuer, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, as well as the age of Klose. Based on the latest matches, I think Low will start with:
Neuer - Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes - Lahm, Schweinsteiger - Ozil, Kroos, Muller - Goetze
while I would like:
Neuer - Howedes , Mertesacker, Hummels, Durm - Lahm, Schweinsteiger - Schuerrle, Goetze, Muller - Klose
We have to wait a few more days to see the starting eleven against Portugal.
So what about my prediction for the tournament? For me it's time that an European team wins it in South America and it has to be Germany. In the last 4 tournaments Germany was three times in the semi-finals and once in the final and without some strange decisions by Low should have won it once! They have a very good squad and now it's time to deliver. Regarding the opposition, Brasil has a strong squad as always, but nothing fearsome; Argentina has Messi, but the rest are mediocre; Spain isn't shining anymore and France without Ribery it's not scary; Italy has no star, but if they get past the group stage, you never know :). Still me prediction is:
- Win 3-1 against Portugal
- Win 1-0 against Ghana
- Draw 1-1 against USA
Round of 16
- As winner of group they will play the runner up of Group H, which I predict will be Russia. Result 2-0
- The opponent will be the winner of the match between winner of group E and runner up of group F. My prediction is that will be Switzerland and the result 4-1.
- At this stage the opponent will be the winner of groups A or C, or runner up of groups B or D. It has to be Brasil and Germany will win on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
- Uruguay will be the surprise team and will reach the final having beaten Spain and Argentina along the way. Germany wins the final 1-0 :)
Enjoy the World Cup and may Germany win it!