Projecting Germany's Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios for World Cup 2014 Draw

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2013

WARSAW, POLAND - JUNE 28:  (L-R back row) Holger Badstuber, Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos, Mats Hummels,  Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira and Jerome Boateng (L-R front row) Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil of Germany line up for a team photograph before during the UEFA EURO 2012 semi final match between Germany and Italy at the National Stadium on June 28, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Germany will head into next summer's World Cup as one of the top contenders, regardless of how the draw plays out on Friday. Die Mannschaft, along with Brazil, Spain and Argentina—all Pot 1 teams—are a step above the rest of the field.

Led by Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Mueller, the German squad features both elite talent and terrific depth. Anything less than a deep run would be a major disappointment for a squad that seems primed to make a serious charge toward the title.

The draw could make the journey much easier or a little more difficult but won't change Germany's status as a serious championship threat. Knowing that, let's check out the best and worst possible outcomes for Die Mannschaft on draw day.


Best-Case Scenario

Germany's Best Possible Outcome
PotNational TeamFIFA Ranking
2014 World Cup

Being in Pot 1 is a huge advantage. It ensures Germany doesn't have to go through the worrisome draw of the nine Pot 4 European teams. Whichever one of those is selected for Pot 2 will then get matched up with a Pot 1 South American team and another UEFA team from Pot 4 to create a very difficult group.

Avoiding that opens the door to several favorable draw possibilities.

Pot 2, which is made up of the remaining South American sides and those from Africa, isn't as star-studded as Pots 1 and 4, but it has a handful of dangerous teams. Chile and Ecuador are both underrated, while the Ivory Coast and Ghana are the best sides from Africa.

Since Germany can't be matched up with the European team that moves into the second pot, it leaves three teams for the best-case scenario, Nigeria, Algeria and Cameroon. Germany would be a sizable favorite over each, with Cameroon probably being the best matchup.

Pot 3 is a little easier to decipher. As long as Germany avoids the United States and Mexico, it should be happy with the result. That gives it a 75 percent chance of drawing a clearly inferior opponent, with Australia or Iran being the best outcome.

Finally, there isn't a noticeably weak European squad that was a major qualifying shock. It's a very strong group of teams, which means Germany just hopes to avoid the best of the best, highlighted by Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands. Russia would be a solid way to wrap up the draw.


Worst-Case Scenario

Germany's Worst Possible Outcome
PotNational TeamFIFA Ranking
2Chile 15
3United States14
2014 World Cup

A quick glance at the above group shows why Germany is in such good shape. Yes, it's far more difficult than the best-case scenario, but it would still be a surprise if Die Mannschaft didn't navigate through it. The other squads would be more disappointed about it than Germany.

Ultimately, the worst option from Pot 2 came down to the Ivory Coast and Chile.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 14:  Didier Drogba #11 of Ivory Coast kicks against Mexico during their match at MetLife Stadium on August 14, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The African squad features a lot of veteran stars, like Didier Drogba, who might view the 2014 tournament as their last chance to make a deep run. But Chile is a solid side from top to bottom, and playing the event in South America helps its cause.

Pot 3 comes down to the United States or Mexico. El Tri just finished a frustrating qualifying campaign that forced them to play an international playoff just to make the tournament. They can still rebound in time for the tournament, though.

The American side would probably be the worse draw, though. United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann has a strong understanding of the German approach after years with the national team and Bayern Munich, making it a matchup Die Mannschaft would probably rather avoid.

Once again, there isn't one team that stands out from Pot 4. Any team Germany draws from the UEFA group is going to pose a tough test. Since Italy knocked the Germans out of Euro 2012, it gets the nod in the worst-case scenario.