World Champions Germany resume their Euro 2016 campaign on 12th June at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille. Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Löw announced his 27-man provisional squad, and will be further chopped down to 23 after the pre-Euro friendlies.
Germany’s Euro 2016 Squad:
Manager: Joachim Löw
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno, Marc-Andre ter-Stegen
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Emre Can, Jonas Hector, Benedikt Höwedes, Mats Hummels, Shkodran Mustafi, Antonio Rudiger, Sebastian Rudy.
Midfielders: Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Özil, Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus, Karim Bellarabi, Toni Kroos, Mario Götze, Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane, Julian Brandt, Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich.
Forwards: Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski.
There were plenty of surprises when Löw named his 27-man pool, by calling up three uncapped players in Joshua Kimmich, Julian Weigl and Julian Brandt.
Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, who still hasn’t recovered from his injury, also joins the party. Lukas Podolski also makes the cut, against the common belief. Jonas Hector’s inclusion in place of Marcel Schmelzer was also baffling.
Thomas Muller – With talisman Miroslav Klose no more around, Muller will be shouldered with the responsibility of finding the back of the net. Der Raumdeuter, as he is known for his cunning ability to fin space in tightest of situations, combined with his clinical nature in front of goals makes him one of world’s most feared forwards.
He is not your modern day wide forward with flashes and tricks, but his unconventional technique makes him one of the stand-out players in the world.
Mesut Özil – Germany’s artist needs to step on the big stage, this time for his nation. The former Real Madrid star had yet another noteworthy season with Arsenal, but finished without any silverware. Mario Götze’s limited playing time with Bayern Munich means Özil will be an undisputed starter, and will be out to dismiss the label of ‘big game flop.’
Marco Reus – The supremely talented Borussia Dortmund wide man could end up playing as the emergency forward or the false number 9 (as they like to call it now a days) given Germany’a lack of potent strikers.
Blessed with pace and precision going forward, Reus is one of the finest attackers in modern football. An injury kept him away from the World Cup 2014 thus he is eager to showcase his talent on the International scene at the upcoming Euro 2016.
Leroy Sane – Germany are never far away from producing a wonder kid who ends up creating shock waves around European Football. Next in line is the FC Schalke attacker Leroy Sane.
Just at the age of 20, Sane comes across as a complete player and his stats back that argument as well. He ended the 2015/16 season with 10 goals and 8 assists his name.
He has already made his International debut last season and is hoping to be an impact substitute for Germany at the upcoming Euro 2016. Sane is equally adept at playing from either wide right or in the centre-forward role for his side.
Germany will go out with their typical 4-2-3-1 setup. Manuel Neuer will be an undisputed starter in goal, with a defence of Benedikt Höwedes, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Jonas Hector likely to guard his goal.
Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, along with Sami Khedira will provide steel in midfield, with the former likely to be replaced by Toni Kroos if he does not recover from his injury in time.
They will preceded by the trio of Thomas Muller, Mesut Özil, and Marco Reus, led in attack by Mario Gomez. Germany’s striker options are limited, but we could see a slight tweak with Muller playing up top while Mario Gotze drafted in the starting XI.
Ukraine (June 12), Poland (June 16), Northern Ireland (June 21)
How far can they go?
Semi-finals. Germany are being touted as ‘clear-favorites’ by many, but it is not going to be that easy. Dearth of striking options plus inexperience and lack of quality full-backs could haunt Löw, though it cannot be denied that he has a team that could go all the way.
Germany will certainly be amongst the final four teams left in the competition which cannot be a good sign for other sides; as the Germans have a great track record in knock out games which always works in their favor.
Image Credit: Getty, Lineupbuilder