5 Positives for Germany to Take from Their World Cup Group-Stage Performances
Of course, the mother of all tournament teams Germany comfortably topped the so-called “Group of Death” at the 2014 World Cup.
Germany has never failed to get past the group stage at the World Cup, and after the rout of Portugal in the opener, progression was never really in doubt.
We look at the positives for Germany ahead of their last-16 clash against the unfancied Algerians.
Who Can Stop the German Machine?
Spain and Italy have already exited the competition at the first stage and can commence their summer holidays at their leisure.
The Spanish Armada beat Germany in the final of the 2008 Euros and the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, whilst the feared foe from Italy prevailed against the Mannschaft at the semi-final stage of the 2006 World Cup and 2012 Euros.
Who can possibly stop the German machine now?
Main Man Mueller
We are running out of superlatives for Thomas Mueller after a magnificent opening hat-trick against Portugal and the precious winner against the U.S.
The Bayern Munich attacker has now fired a goal a game in nine World Cup outings. Only the Brazilian legend Pele can match this scoring rate, having also notched nine times in his first nine matches in the tournament.
At the ripe old age of 24, Mueller is only six goals behind the all-time scoring record, which is currently jointly held by team-mate Miroslav Klose and former Brazilian striker Ronaldo.
In this form Mueller can become the first man in World Cup history to win consecutive “Golden Boots” as World Cup top scorer, following up on his breakthrough success at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Germany came through their group unscathed, unlike fellow European powerhouses and former winners Spain and Italy.
England went out in the first round for the first time in 56 years.
The last-16 clash against Algeria looks very winnable on paper, with potentially more troublesome opponents lying in wait in the latter stages of the competition in the shape of France (or Nigeria) in the quarters.
Losing the supremely talented attacker Marco Reus on the eve of the tournament was a massive blow.
Midfielders Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer all entered the tournament under injury clouds.
Defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng have suffered minor knocks in the group stages but nothing tournament-ending.
Therefore, Germany enter the business end of the competition with a clean bill of health and the core of the side fit and raring to go.
Klose to the Record
Miroslav Klose proved instantly he has still got it by scoring within two minutes of his introduction as a second-half substitute against Ghana. Klose became the oldest-ever German World Cup scorer at 36. Low can rely on the revitalised Lazio striker to come off the bench in times of need to provide fresh impulse to any flagging German side.
Despite all his World Cup scoring feats, Klose has never scored past the quarter-final stage, a statistic that the golden-oldie striker is perfectly capable of changing over the next fortnight.
Follow Mark Lovell @LovellLowdown