Former Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso believes Germany will be the team to defeat at this summer’s FIFA World Cup, although latest Bayern string-puller Thiago Alcantara knows he will have to prevent several of his Bundesliga rivals if he is to arise triumphant with Spain this summer months.
Alonso lifted the World Cup in 2010, sandwiched in amongst European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012, and with 3 Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues to his identity, the 36-year-old certainly knows what it takes to be thriving.
Talking to FIFA.com forward of the World Cup, he admitted that Joachim Löw’s men – immediately after his possess region – are kinds to observe out for in Russia.
“I am not just stating it, but I would set [Spain] among the favourites because I never see any facet that’s far better than Spain proper now,” he explained. “I do not know what is heading to transpire in the games although. Germany is yet another of the large favourites. They are an extremely robust facet and they’re often there or thereabouts.”
Alonso observed initial hand the number of remarkable new potential customers rising via the Bundesliga in current yrs and he feels that although the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and For every Mertesacker may no extended be all around, Germany has succeeded in replacing them adequately, although also lowering the regular age of the squad.
Timo Werner, Julian Brandt, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich are all set to play essential roles in an energetic facet Alonso fancies for at the very least a remaining 4 berth.
“The way they have been playing, it would be a significant surprise if they never make the semis, because they’re the champions and because of the new era who’ve to appear into the team,” he explained, incorporating that “Brazil is also proper in there – I feel those people 3 are above the rest. Then you can find Argentina, France and it’s possible a surprise or two. Why not?”
Spain’s hopes will be pinned on the shoulders of Bayern midfielder Thiago, who claims he is prepared to fill an important job on the field for his region in Russia – a person he has honed in the Bundesliga, proper at the coronary heart of the motion.
“It can be a job I am ready for because I’ve performed in it with Bayern,” Thiago explained. “Of system it is really an important position for the organisation of the team and I hope to fill it properly. We are a facet who like to keep the ball, like to push, shift all around and we take pleasure in playing the way we play – we would like to get this World Cup begun tomorrow.”
Germany and Spain could meet up with at the earliest in the semi-finals.
Reigning and four-time World Cup champions Germany face a tough obstacle from Mexico, Sweden and South Korea in Group F at Russia 2018, but Joachim Low’s facet will nonetheless be predicted to progress emphatically into the final 16.
Germany, who returned to the leading of world football four yrs in ago in Brazil, is arguably even more powerful now, with their depth aptly demonstrated in 2017 when they sent a next-string team to the Confederation Cup (a costume rehearsal for the World Cup) and nonetheless claimed the trophy relatively comfortably.
‘Der Mannschaft’ can nonetheless call on players in their primary this sort of as Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller, but their facet is evolving into an even more thrilling line-up with the emergence of youngsters this sort of as Timo Werner and Joshua Kimmich. Their 100 per cent history in their UEFA qualifying team underlines the class and electric power of this German team.
Their fellow Europeans Sweden will extravagant their likelihood of joining the world champions in the knockout rounds. The ‘Blue-Yellow’ completed behind France (but in advance of the Netherlands) in their qualifying team and went on to defeat Italy in the playoffs – they have experienced loads of hard matches in the earlier eighteen months and will be fight hardened for the obstacle which awaits them in Russia. On the other hand, they can no for a longer time call on ‘X-factor’ player Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose retirement from worldwide football leaves this team on the lookout for a chief and talisman.
Mexico is also a team to be reckoned with, having dominated the CONCACAF qualifiers. But ‘El Tri’ have under no circumstances truly lived up to their probable when it comes to the World Cup, and their ageing team may wrestle to match their Group F opponents for rate and electricity. They will seem to Javier Hernandez to carry on his outstanding scoring history at a worldwide stage and hope it would make up for their shortcomings.
South Korea did not take pleasure in the most prosperous qualification campaign, as they completed effectively off the rate of Iran in their AFC team, and can be regarded as the outsiders in this foursome. But they nonetheless boast some gifted players, in particular, forward Son Heung-min. The Tottenham Hotspur man is tough-doing the job, adaptable and has a keen eye for goal. If he can set the bar higher sufficient for his teammates, the ‘Taegeuk Warriors’ may just spring a surprise or two.
17 June 2018, 17h00 – Germany v Mexico – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow eighteen June 2018, 14h00 – Sweden v South Korea – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod 23 June 2018, 17h00 – South Korea v Mexico – Rostov Arena, Rostov-on-Don 23 June 2018, 20h00 – Germany v Sweden – Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi 27 June 2018, 16h00 – South Korea v Germany – Kazan Arena, Kazan 27 June 2018, 16h00 – Mexico v Sweden – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg
Group F head-to-heads (as for each FIFA stats database, in reference to ‘home’ team)
Germany v Mexico – P11 W5 D5 L1 GF24 GA10 Sweden v South Korea – P4 W2 D2 L0 GF17 GA3 South Korea v Mexico – P12 W4 D2 L6 GF15 GA24 Germany v Sweden – P36 W15 D9 L12 GF70 GA6 South Korea v Germany – P3 W1 D0 L2 GF5 GA5 Mexico v Sweden – P9 W2 D3 L4 GF5 GA8
World champions Germany get the defence of their title underway against Marco Fabian’s Mexico at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday (kick-off: 5 pm CEST/4pm BST/11am ET) with captain Manuel Neuer returning to form and physical fitness at just the correct time.
The Bayern Munich shot-stopper broke his foot two times in the 2017/18 campaign and was restricted to just three Bundesliga appearances – each and every one of them clean sheets – as the champions sealed their 28th German major-flight title. Getting played a put together 135 minutes in Die Mannschaft’s latest friendlies with Austria and Saudi Arabia, the 32-year-old will guide his team out against Mexico with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen acting as the 1st understudy. Leroy Sane was perhaps the most surprising omission when coach Joachim Löw announced his ultimate 23-man squad for the match, but with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus – like Neuer – again to his finest, the Manchester City winger’s absence could perfectly prove to be negligible.
If Germany had been impressive in winning all 10 of their games in UEFA qualifying portion, Mexico had been not far behind. El Tri only missing a single of their twelve games in the CONCACAF zone – their ultimate a single, against Honduras, when qualification was already assured. In Fabian and Carlos Salcedo, Mexico boasts two players who lifted the DFB Cup with Eintracht Frankfurt, at Bayern’s expenditure, in May. The pair is anticipated to begin, with previous Bayer Leverkusen favourite Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez primary the line.
Mexico: Ochoa – Salcedo, Reyes, Moreno, Layun – Marquez, Guardado (c) – Vela, Herrera, Fabian – Chicharito Subs: Telavera, Alvarez, Ayala, Gallardo, Aquino, G. dos Santos, J. dos Santos, Corona, Jimenez, Lozano, Peralta Absentees: N/A Mentor: Juan Carlos Osorio
Bayern forward Thomas Müller has 10 World Cup goals to his title, the most of any lively player.
Germany has played Mexico 13 times, winning 6, with 6 attracts and just a single defeat.
The last time the sides satisfied was in the Confederations Cup semi-finals in Russia past June. Germany gained 4-1, with Fabian scoring Mexico’s consolation.
The teams have satisfied when just before at the World Cup, with Germany prevailing 2-1 at France ’98, previous United States of America coach Jürgen Klinsmann and latest Germany Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff scoring in Montpellier.
This is Germany’s 19th World Cup and they have reached at the minimum the quarter-finals in each and every of the earlier 9 editions, producing it to at minimum the semi-finals at each and every opposition as of 2002.
Previous Leverkusen ahead Chicharito is Mexico’s all-time primary goalscorer with 49 goals.
Didi Hamann would be “very surprised” if Germany becomes the first side in fifty-six many years to keep the FIFA World Cup™ and believes the Russia 2018 winners will be Argentina, Brazil or Spain.
“With the personnel, we have received, I assume in depth we may be superior to 4 many years ago, but I don’t assume the first eleven are superior,” the fifty nine-times-capped former defensive midfielder explained to Gulf News. “There are a number of positions I’m genuinely fearful about and I’d be very shocked if Germany were being equipped to defend the title.
“In Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and For every Mertesacker, they lost 300 caps after the previous World Cup. There are some gifted youngsters coming by means of now, but they are nonetheless to confirm their class. We have noticed it in the Champions League – the cream rises to the top rated and the World Cup is a one of a kind match, occasionally folks get found out there.”
Germany was being the only European team to win all ten of their Russia 2018 qualifiers, scoring 43 goals and conceding just 4 in the system. Joachim Low’s rates also conquered previous year’s FIFA Confederations Cup.
However, in their previous 4 outings, they have drawn with England, France and Spain and lost 1- at home to Brazil. And, in spite of Germany fielding below-toughness groups against them, Hamann was still left impressed sufficient to tag La Roja and A Seleção as the groups to conquer in Russia – along with yet another surprise side.
“We performed Brazil a number of months ago and Spain were being likely the superior side against us,” stated the 44-year-old. “You shouldn’t study way too much into friendlies, but I assume Spain and Brazil.
“And then the way that Argentina capable, for the reason that they wanted to conquer Ecuador in the previous game of South American qualifiers to get in. They went 1- down after two minutes and Lionel Messiscored a hat-trick and received that game.
“Sometimes when you have a close shave and qualify like that, and with it also quite possibly currently being Messi’s previous World Cup, I would not rule Argentina out possibly.”
Germany faces Mexico, Sweden and Korea Republic in Group F at Russia 2018.
Hamann was a section of a Germany side that Croatia dumped out of France 1998. The former Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder also aided his state reach the Korea/Japan 2002 Ultimate, wherever they were being undone by Ronaldo.
Reigning champions Germany will meet Mexico, South Korea and Sweden in Group F as they look to defend their FIFA World Cup crown in Russia next year.
The official draw for the tournament was made in Moscow on Friday, with Joachim Löw’s side among the top-seeded teams based on the latest FIFA rankings.
17 June 2018, 17:00 CEST, Moscow: Germany vs. Mexico
Germany will face Mexico in their opening game in a re-match of their semi-final encounter at the 2017 Confederations Cup, which Germany won 4-1.
Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Marco Fabian scored a long-range stunner for Mexico in that fixture, and he will be eager to regain fitness in time for next summer. Fellow Frankfurt player Carlos Salcedo and former Bayer Leverkusen striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez are also set to feature for El Tri against Germany.
23 June 2018, 17:00 CEST, Sochi: Germany vs. Sweden
On paper at least, Mexico will be Germany’s toughest opponent in the group phase. However, they will not want to take their second game against Sweden lightly. Currently ranked 18th in the official FIFA rankings, the Scandinavians no longer count on talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic but they should not be underestimated after knocking out four-time champions Italy in the qualifying play-offs.
27 June 2018, 16:00 CEST, Kazan: South Korea vs. Germany
There will also be familiar faces for Bundesliga followers in Die Nationalmannschaft‘s final group outing against South Korea.
Augsburg duo Ja-Cheol Koo, Dong Won Ji and Borussia Dortmund‘s Joo-ho Park are all likely to be involved alongside former Leverkusen and Hamburg forward Heung-Min Son. At 59th in the latest FIFA ranking, the Koreans are the lowest-ranked side in the group.
Should Germany progress, as is likely, from their section, they would face either the winner or second-placed finisher in Group E, which includes Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia and Costa Rica.
The arrival of the FIFA World Cup draw brings with it the customary discussion of who’s best to avoid and who’s best to come up against, but it’s safe to say no nation will want to face reigning champions Germany, who look a good bet to go all the way again in Russia.
bundesliga.com lays down 10 reasons why Joachim Löw’s men should be considered favourites to retain their world crown.
1) The Löw factor
Löw has taken Germany to five major tournaments: UEFA EURO 2008, the FIFA World Cup 2010, UEFA EURO 2012, the FIFA World Cup 2014 and UEFA EURO 2016. In every single one of those tournaments, Die Nationalmannschaft have reached at least the semi-finals, winning the World Cup in Brazil in 2014 and finishing runners-up to Spain in 2008. It is not as if Germany have had simple runs to the last four, either. In 2010 Löw’s side knocked out England and Argentina before a semi-final exit to Spain, in 2012 they topped a group containing Portugal, Denmark and the Netherlands, while in 2014 they won a group of death with Portugal, the USA and Ghana. Put it this way: if Löw is your coach, you have a 25 per cent chance of winning the tournament.
Watch:Check out Löw’s achievements in the Bundesliga as a player!
2) They’re the holders
Once Germany do get to the last four, there’s a vast amount of tournament savvy within the nation’s ranks. As the current holders, Die Mannschaft know exactly what it takes to win the tournament, and while no nation has managed to retain the trophy since Brazil in 1962, Germany could conceivably send out eight starters (including Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller, all of whom play together for Bayern Munich at club level) from the 2014 World Cup final for their opening game in Russia. On top of that, Bundesliga clubs – such as Bayern – more often than not reach the latter stages at the top level of continental football, Löw’s likely lads regularly picking up that much-valued big-game know-how and trophy-winning experience.
Watch:Take a trip down memory lane and re-live Germany’s 2014 triumph
3) Tournament know-how
That Löw could send out eight starters from the 2014 final (Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil, Christoph Kramer and Benedikt Höwedes are the other four) underlines the wealth of tournament experience within the German ranks. It’s not just at the top level, either; an experimental ensemble lifted the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia this past summer, while the juniors won the UEFA European Under-21 Championship. Prevailing at major tournaments is as much about managing situations in tight games as it is playing scintillating football; invariably the side that keeps its cool when the going gets tough comes out on top. With all that tournament expertise – even at youth tournaments – Löw’s unit looks well set: Gary Lineker’s old cliché that football is 22 men running around after a ball and at the end Germany winning has plenty of legs yet.
Germany’s remarkable squad depth has been supplemented by an injection of fresh legs. From the 2014 World Cup-winning side, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Per Mertesacker, Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm have retired, with Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Brandt and Niklas Süle among those chomping at the bit to fill their sizeable boots. Combining those youngsters’ eagerness to impress with the aforementioned experienced heads could well be a recipe for another global triumph.
Watch:Get to know Germany’s next golden generation!
6) In fine form
Germany’s all-conquering qualification campaign offered the perfect opportunity to begin mixing youth with experience: Werner, Kimmich, Sane, Brandt and Goretzka all impressed, but reaching the World Cup was far from just an experiment; quite the opposite, in fact. Löw’s troops became only the second-ever side (after Spain in 2010) to win all 10 games of a European qualifying campaign. Quite simply, the four-time winners are in excellent form approaching next summer’s jamboree in Russia.
7) Home soil – sort of
It will not have escaped notice that this World Cup takes place in Europe, traditionally when European teams are at an advantage and South American teams struggle more than expected. In nine out of 10 World Cups played on European soil, a European side has prevailed, with Brazil’s Pele-inspired triumph in Sweden in 1958 the only exception. Three of Germany’s four world titles have come on European soil (Switzerland 1958, West Germany 1974 and Italy 1990), while they have also reached the final twice on their own continent (England 1966, Spain 1982), boding well for Russia 2018.
8) Confederations Cup trump card
Speaking of Russia: Germany’s experience in local conditions at the Confederations Cup could come in very handy indeed during the 2018 tournament. Löw’s side played in three of the stadiums to be used at this summer’s tournament – Sochi, Kazan and St. Petersburg – and since footballers are creatures of habit, a little inside knowledge will be more than welcome. Knowing what to expect in terms of climate, atmosphere and hotels could prove an under-emphasised trump card.
Make no mistake – Germany’s semi-final exit to hosts France at EURO 2016 hurt. Löw and his players made all of the right noises afterwards, but going one step further will very much be on their minds at this tournament. “France played well, but we were better,” said Löw after the 2-0 defeat in Marseille. “We had a little bit more than the French, but perhaps didn’t get the rub of the green.” Die Nationalmannschaft do not intend to leave anything to chance this time around.
10) Penalty lottery?
Finally, there’s that old cliché of never betting against the Germans when it comes to penalties. The four-time winners have come out victorious in their last six shoot-outs at major tournaments (dating back to the 1982 World Cup), so even if you do manage to hold off Löw’s side, you still have to survive a lottery rigged in the Germans’ favour by the weight of history. Good luck.