Germany

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This was supposed to be Marco Reus’ tournament. That was until the Borussia Dortmund attacker suffered an ankle injury. Reus had become an integral cog in the German machine thanks to some stellar performances for both club and country. So, how much of a blow is this for coach Joachim Low? On paper, not much. After all, not many teams have a midfield overflowing with talent such as Bayern Munich stars Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Mario Gotze. Muller, who won the Golden Boot and was named the best young player in the 2010 World Cup, is at the peak of his powers. Mesut Ozil and Andre Schurrle had contrasting seasons in the English Premier League, but both remain important in Low’s scheme of things. Schalke’s attacking midfielder Julian Draxler is another player whose stock is on the rise. With Manuel Neuer in goal and Philipp Lahm supplying inspiration, the backline looks strong. For Low, Bastian Schweinsteiger’s indifferent form is a cause for concern; so is the striking department, which pale in comparison to the riches in the midfield. The veteran Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski have their task cut out.

 

garmany

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