With a few weeks to go until we start, Germany are just outside the leading pack when it comes to being favourites to lift the trophy.1) History in Major Tournaments
Much has been said about the decline of the Germany squad in the last couple years, particularly after their group stage exit in the last World Cup. But underestimate them at your peril, for Germany are still 4 time World Cup winners and 3 time European Champions. They have made the semi finals in their last two EUROs, and with an experienced manager of international football in Joachim Loew, this side knows how to win tournaments. They were World Cup winners only 7 years ago. Oh, and they have also won 6 of their last 6 penalty shootouts, a record stretching back to 1982.
Germany boast a huge array of talent in their midfield department, including Joshua Kimmich, Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Ilkay Gundogan, who finished as Man City’s top scorer for the season. Serge Gnabri too has had an incredible last few years, both at club level and international level, and though Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League with Chelsea, their international form is decent too.
The draw has been kind to Spain, who have been pipped against Sweden, Poland and Slovakia in the group stages. If they win their group, they will be taking on a third placed team in the Round of 16. They could very easily reach the Quarter Final stage without having to face a top side, and by the time you reach this point of a tournament, you only need to scrape through three more results to lift the trophy.
Though they boast a world class sweeper keeper in Manuel Neuer, the names of the defenders in front him do not scream out confidence, and only one defender has over 50 caps (Mats Hummels). Not even a year has passed since Germany lost 0-6 to Spain in the UEFA Nations League, and though they finished in second place, they shipped a total of 13 goals in 6 matches. In their most recent World Cup qualifier, they were also humbled 1-2 at home to North Macedonia.
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