Reports & Previews

Germany - World Cup team preview

Die Mannschaft head to Russia with the goal of retaining their crown which they captured in Brazil four years.

Only the Brazil sides of 1958 and 1962 have managed to retain the mantle in the history of the competition.

The current world and Confederation Cup champions will arrive at the showpiece having breezed through the qualifying stages, winning 10 out of 10, scoring a joint high of 43 goals along with Belgium.

Appearing at World Cup tournaments is routine for Germany, they have never failed to qualify for the competition and have played the most games at the finals (106).

Germany have finished runners up on four occasions but could equal another one of Brazil's records by becoming only the second nation to have five World Cup titles to their name should they prove to be victorious in Russia.

Under the guidance of coach Joachim Low, who is in his 12th year in charge, Germany will be expected to top Group F which includes the likes of Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.

The surprise exclusion from the squad is Manchester City's Leroy Sane. The PFA Young Player of the Year narrowly missed out on a place at Russia after Low opted for the pair of Marco Reus and Julian Draxler to operate on the wings.

The stand out player for the German outfit is Mesut Ozil. The five time German Player of the Year will participate in his third World Cup after the Arsenal playmaker debuted at the tournament in South Africa 2010.

The Germans lost 2-1 to Austria last week in an International Friendly but concluded their final preparations for the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia.

They will be based in the Russian capital, Moscow.

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St Germain).

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha Berlin), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich).

Midfielders: Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Paris St Germain), Leon Goretzka (Schalke 04), Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sebastian Rudy (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal).

Forwards: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig).