UEFA Euro 2016 contenders – Germany

The reigning world champions sailed through their 2016 European Championship qualification campaign with minor hiccups along the way. They finished atop Group D ahead of Poland and Republic of Ireland – the other two qualifiers from the group.

Germany have been placed in Group C in the tournament proper and have Ukraine, Northern Ireland and Poland to compete with for a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament. Joachim Low has a wealth of quality players to pick from and they are amongst the heavy favourites to collect their second successive major trophy after their success in the summer of 2014 when they became world champions for a fourth time in Brazil.

Much to the delight of Low, he will be able to call upon the services of most of his world champions, baring the former captain, Philipp Lahm, who retired from international duty after the 2014 World Cup. Other than the Bayern Munich skipper, Low will have the core of the team that won in Brazil. Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will captain the side and will be supported by the likes of Christoph Kramer, Sami Khedira, Julian Draxler, Mesut Ozil and former Bayern Munich team-mate Toni Kroos in midfield.

Germany will also be boosted by the addition of Borussia Dortmund duo Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus, both of whom missed out on the triumph in Brazil due to injuries. Their inclusion to the squad getting ready for Euro 2016 will surely make the Germans even stronger than they already are.

Centre-forward position remains an area of concern for the Germans as they struggle to find a quality striker to lead the line. Long-serving Miroslav Klose has retired from international duty, and Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolksi aren’t exactly the kind of forwards to give the opposition defence sleepless nights. Thomas Muller will need definitely need a partner to share the responsibilities in the goal scoring department.

It will be interesting to see who Lowe entrusts with goalscoring duties for the summer tournament. Nevertheless, the Germany national team are amongst the likeliest contenders to take home the trophy they last won in 1996.