Amid typical high expectations, Germany will begin play at the 2014 World Cup perched among the favorites, with 11-2 odds in futures wagering.
Only host Brazil (3-1) and Argentina (9-2) sport better odds to win this year’s tournament. Germany is also pegged as the favorite to be the top European team at Brazil 2014, with odds of 2-1.
Not surprisingly, Germany’s 5-9 odds make them the favorite to win a challenging Group G that offers a number of interesting storylines. The Germans open their group-stage schedule against Portugal, currently No. 4 in the FIFA World Ranking and 5-2 to win the group.
Germany has made it a regular event to dampen Portuguese hopes at international tournaments, handing Portugal defeats at the 2006 World Cup, and the 2008 and 2012 Euro. Germany is even on the moneyline in their match against Portugal, who have 57-20 moneyline odds.
For the second straight World Cup, Germany will face Ghana in the group stage. The Cinderella story of South Africa 2010, where they reached the quarter-finals, Ghana will face a tougher road at Brazil 2014.
Anything short of a win by Germany against Ghana, who are 10-1 to win Group G and 200-1 to win the tournament, would be considered a shock.
Germany closes the group stage against the United States, managed by former German boss Jurgen Klinsmann. With Klinsmann’s former assistant, Joachim Loew, now in charge in Germany, this promises to be a classic student-teacher showdown.
The two squads faced off in a friendly in 2013, with U.S.A pulling off an exciting 4-3 victory. But this time is for real, and as a 5-2 long shot to advance beyond the group stage, the United States may be a squad desperate to put points on the table to extend their World Cup run.
Regardless of whether Germany finishes first or second in Group G, they should enter the round of 16 with confidence regardless of which Group H opponent they face. Die Mannschaft have never lost to Belgium or Russia, their two most likely opponents, recording a combined 14 wins and one draw in 15 all-time matches against the two squads.
Of greater concern is a potential quarter-final matchup against an opponent like Switzerland or France, both of which have enjoyed recent success against Germany.
However, Germany is a squad stacked with talent on every part of the pitch. Although they have players among the favorites to lead the World Cup in goalscoring, anything less than a run to the semi-finals will be a major disappointment for German soccer fans.