Germany

Germany come into the tournament with some of the highest pedigree having been European and World Cup champions thrice each. A new generation of talented, attacking young players sprinkled in with some disciplined, experienced veterans has made for some of the best soccer at the World Cups in 2006 and 2010, as well as at Euro in 2008. They are still as physically imposing defensively, and now they attack with tactical freedom and ruthless intelligence. Mix in one of the best goalkeepers and the Germans, along with Spain, have to be considered strong favorites to win this year.

Coach: Joachim Low was given much of the credit for Germany’s tactical successes in 2006 and was promoted to manager soon after. In his 6 years in charge, he has guided the country to a meteoric rise into the upper echelons of international soccer by catering to the qualities of his experienced players while mixing in some of the energy and creativeness of the new generation.

Standout players:

Bastian Schweinsteger – one of the best central midfielders in the world, vice-captain of Bayern Munich who is physically imposing defensively, intelligent in possession, and sufficiently creative when necessary.

Mezut Ozil – number ten for Real Madrid in Spain, has been in outrageous form for the last few weeks

Thomas Muller – Leading goalscorer and best young player at 2010 World Cup

Mario Gotze – One of the top teenagers in the world, plays on the wing and for Borussia Dortmund

Odds to win:

4/1

Games

Date                                Opponent                              Stadium                                      Location

June 9                            Portugal                                Arena Lviv                               Lviv, Ukraine

June 13                          Netherlands                    Metalist Stadium                 Kharkiv, Ukraine

June 17                          Denmark                               Arena Lviv                               Lviv, Ukraine

Click here for full roster

Click here for results from qualifying matches