Team Preview: Germany

FIFA Ranking: 2

Euro history: The Germans are three time champions in this tournament. They won in 1972, 1980 and 1996. Germany fell short of their fourth championship in 2008. They lost 1-0 to Spain in the final.

How they qualified: Germany was flawless in qualifying. They earned a maximum 30 points in ten matches against teams such as Turkey, Belgium, Austria, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Group information and schedule: Germany is in Group B with Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark. All three group matches will be played in the Ukraine.

June 9 vs. Portugal in Lviv

June 13 vs. Netherlands in Kharkiv

June 17 vs. Denmark in Lviv

Early roster thoughts: Germany has one of the most impressive collections of young talent in the world. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer just turned 26 and is one of the best shot stoppers in soccer. Defenders Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber and Jerome Boateng are all 23 and should start on the backline. The Germans are loaded in midfield. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira could start in holding midfield roles. Toni Kroos, 22, could slide into that position if needed. The only strikers Germany included in their final squad were Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez. Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller could also play as a center forward, but they have found success on the wings in a Germany uniform. Mesut Ozil is the attacking midfielder, who will play behind the striker. Look for 19 year-old Mario Gotze or 22 year-old Marco Reus to make an impact off the bench for the German midfield.

How they will do: Germany could follow up their perfect qualifying run with a perfect record in Euro. They are that talented and deep. However, they are in the hardest group and have to be ready to play Portugal and Netherlands in the first two matches. The Bayern Munich players, who were part of a heartbreaking Champions League Final, must regain focus and positively help their country.


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