Germany are fancied to do well at Euro 2012 and one would suspect that whoever wins the tournament will have to defeat Joachim Low's side along the way.
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FIFA Ranking: 2
Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1972, 1980, 1996)
Fixtures at Euro 2012
Saturday June 9
Lviv: Germany v Portugal (19:45)
Wednesday June 13
Kharkiv: Netherlands v Germany (19:45)
Sunday June 17
Lviv: Denmark v Germany (19:45)
Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Miroslav Klose (9 Goals)
Three-time winners Germany have their sights set on their first piece of major silverware since Euro ’96 in England. They are the most successful team in the history of this competition and have every chance of clinching a fourth title following a perfect qualifying campaign. The Germans finished third at the 2010 World Cup but they are stronger and more experienced heading into Euro 2012, and it would be a huge surprise if they did not advance from a Group B that consists of Holland, Portugal and Denmark.
How They Qualified
Germany’s qualification to this tournament never looked in doubt as they won all 10 games to book their place in Poland and Ukraine, with Miroslav Klose leading the way with nine goals. They opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Belgium before cruising to wins over Azerbaijan (6-1), Turkey (3-0) and Kazakhstan (3-0). Germany then battled past Austria 2-1 before more dominant victories followed; 4-0 against Kazakhstan, 3-1 at Azerbaijan and 6-2 against Austria. Joachim Low’s men then completed a perfect qualifying campaign with back-to-back 3-1 wins over Turkey and Belgium.
Joachim Low appears to be leading Germany back to the top of international football, and they are doing it in style. Low took charge of the national team after Jurgen Klinsmann walked away in 2006, and he made an immediate impression by guiding the team to the final of Euro 2008, where they were beaten by Spain.
Their improvement continued as they qualified for the 2010 World Cup with an unbeaten record, and the Germans provided some of the highlights of the tournament as they hammered both England and Argentina.
Spain returned to haunt them again by ousting Low’s team in the semi-finals, but there was every reason to be positive due to the emergence of several young stars during the tournament. Low was rewarded with a new contract after Germany won all 10 of their Euro 2012 qualifiers, and it may just be a matter of time before he guides his side all the way to major silverware.
Mesut Ozil emerged as one of world football’s most exciting prospects when he burst onto the scene at the 2010 World Cup, and his progression has only continued in the two years since then. Ozil’s form in South Africa earned him a move to Real Madrid and the 23-year-old winger has continued to flourish.
He was one of the star performers during qualifying, topping the assists charts with seven, and if he can continue to provide chances for the likes of Miroslav Klose then Germany will truly be a formidable force.
And of course, it would be wrong to not mention 33-year-old hitman Klose who is closing in on Gerd Muller’s record for most goals for his country. Klose netted nine times during the qualifying stage for Euro 2012 and needs just five more to equal Muller’s mark of 68, and he will be keen to do it at what is likely to be his final major competition as an international footballer.
Euro 2012 Squad
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96).
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund).
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Andre Schürrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: Mario Gomez (Bayern Munich), Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Lukas Podolski (Cologne).
Expected Starting Team
Neuer, Badstuber, Boateng, Hummels, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Ozil, Muller, Podolski, Gomez
Captain: Philipp Lahm
Penalty Taker: Mario Gomez
Top Team Goalscorer Tips
Mario Gomez is the 9/1 favourite at Bet Victor
in the outright top goalscorer market and it is surprising that he is as big as 11/4 with Bwin
to finish as Germany’s highest scorer in Poland and Ukraine. That price makes plenty of appeal, particularly after the season Gomez had at club level with Bayern Munich.
However, there is enough doubt over Gomez’s credentials to question whether he is worth backing at less than 3/1. The 26 year old disappointed in South Africa two years ago and was woeful in the Champions League final loss to Chelsea, which raises questions over his ability on the biggest stage. It is not inconceivable that he mis-fires in the opener against Portugal and is then replaced by Mirsolav Klose.
Klose may be a veteran at 33 years old but his 9 goals in qualifying suggest that the World Cup’s record goalscorer still has plenty of life left in him. He is 4/1 at Coral
to outscore his team mates this summer.
Klose hit four goals in South Africa but that wasn’t enough to make him Germany’s top goalscorer though, with that honour falling to Thomas Muller. The Bayern Munich midfielder is still only 22 but he is already regarded as a star and he can cement his reputation this summer. He will play almost as a second striker and will frequently be the furthest forward for his team. At 9/1 with Ladbrokes
he looks a good bet to be Germany’s top scorer and odds of 50/1 on the outright market look good for an each-way bet.
Germany are vying with Spain for favouritism and that seems justified. Any team that wants to win Euro 2012 are going to have to beat Joachim Low’s side to do so.