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Last World Cup: Third place
Nickname: Die Mannschaft
Coach: Joachim Low
Star man: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Tournament best: Winners 1954, 1974, 1990 (all as West Germany)

Arguably Europe's best hope of bringing the trophy back from South America. Low's side is littered with players steeped in top-level experience and this may be the time for Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Schweinsteiger et al to make the final step at international level.

Strengths: Germany's rampant goalscoring exploits during qualifying, where they registered an average of 3.6 goals per game, should concern any defence. They and the Netherlands were the only two teams to score at least twice in every match, with most of the Germans' thrust coming from the centre where they created the third highest proportion of goals.

Weaknesses: Surprisingly however, they only managed to strike once from a set piece and didn't convert a single header. At the back they were uncharacteristically lax at times, most notably down the flanks where stronger opponents were able to get the ball into the danger zone surprisingly easily.

Prospects: Portugal's wingers will represent a tough early test for the German defence, so they'll need to keep the ball in the middle if they want to enjoy more productive use of it. The stats don't highlight any major threats from Ghana or the USA, although the Africans could catch them unawares with shots from distance.

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