Germany World Cup Roster 2014: Updates on 23-Man Squad, Starting 11 Projections
Germany was dominant during World Cup qualifying. The UEFA powerhouse didn't drop a single match in Group C. The Mannschaft won nine and drew the other while posting a plus-26 goal differential to claim the top spot and a direct ticket to Brazil next summer.
When you pair those outstanding results with a squad that should only continue to improve as the World Cup moves closer, it's clear Germany will enter the tournament as one of the top contenders. A championship is certainly within reach.
The Mannschaft roster will come together in the coming months. Based on the qualifying squads from throughout the process, head coach Joachim Loew will do his best to find the right mix of veteran leaders with key international experience and rising stars who can provide a spark.
With that in mind, let's examine some of the latest buzz involving the German squad and make a projection for what the starting lineup will look like in Brazil. Keep checking back for updates on news surrounding the roster.
Oct. 16: Germany Seeks Defensive Improvement
One problem that did pop up for Germany in 2013 was inconsistently along the back line. The final qualifier was a perfect example. It allowed three goals to Sweden, which finished second in the group, but the attack bailed out the defense with five goals of its own.
Karolos Grohmann of Reuters passed along comments from Joachim Loew, who said the need to bolster the back line isn't a new issue, but pointed toward the team's success since changes in 2010 as a sign of serious progress.
The need to improve our defence is not something that became clear just from this game. But we had a major overhaul in 2010... and since then, we have won 23 of 25 competitive games, with one draw and one defeat.
Of course we want to improve defensively and it is something we will be working on.
While Germany has a strong talent base along the back line, finding the right combination has proved tricky for the head coach. Luckily for the Mannschaft, several months remain for players to elevate their form and claim starting spots.
It would be a major surprise if Philipp Lahm didn't take on his usual role at the back. Otherwise, spots are available for players who are able to step up at both the club and international levels between now and next summer.
Projected Starting XI
A talented squad like Germany's can change frequently over the course of several months as players find or lose their form. Knowing that, let's take a look at where things could stand when the team lines up for its World Cup opener.
Projected Starting Lineup
GK: Manuel Neuer
LB: Marcel Schmelzer
CB: Benedikt Hoewedes
CB: Mats Hummels
RB: Philipp Lahm
DM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
DM: Toni Kroos
LW: Marco Reus
CAM: Mesut Ozil
RW: Thomas Mueller
ST: Mario Goetze (false 9)
Other Likely Squad Members
GK: Rene Adler
DF: Marcell Jansen, Per Mertesacker, Jerome Boateng
MF: Andre Schuerrle, Sami Khedira, Lars Bender
FW: Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski
More Possible Squad Members
GK: Ron-Robert Zieler, Marc-Andre ter Stegen
DF: Heiko Westermann, Dennis Aogo, Andreas Beck, Holger Badstuber
MF: Julian Draxler, Sidney Sam, Sven Bender, Ilkay Gundogan, Stefan Reinartz, Lewis Holtby
FW: Miroslav Klose, Max Kruse