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Die Mannschaft boast one of the most eye-catching arrays of creative talent in international football and Al Hain-Cole thinks that it would take something special to stop them

Having overseen third-place finishes at each of the last two World Cups, there is a feeling that the time is right for Joachim Low to finally lead his highly talented Germany team to glory this summer, with bet365 placing them among the favourites at 11/2 (6.50) to lift a fourth title.

A crazy 4-4 draw against Sweden aside, Die Mannschaft won every one of their qualifying matches on the road to Rio, scoring more goals than any other side in Europe. The Germans led 4-0 after an hour in Berlin before carelessly allowing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Co. back into the game but are unlikely to prove as complacent in Brazil, where they are 5/2 (3.50) favourites to finish as the top European team.

Germany's production line of gifted playmakers shows no sign of easing up, leaving Low's squad with a surplus of midfield talent. Making way for the likes of Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus and Mario Gotze are the strikers, with only Miroslav Klose and the inexperienced Kevin Volland named in the preliminary group.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer picked up a shoulder injury in the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund and may miss the tournament, which would be a big blow to Low's squad.

Despite drawing a potentially tricky group including Portugal, Ghana and United States, Low's men are heavily tipped at 1/9 (1.11) to qualify for the knockout stages and available at just 1/2 (1.50) to finish top of the pile.

They have never lost to Ghana and only suffered one defeat in nine against Portugal, although lost 4-3 in a friendly against Jurgen Klinsmann's Americans just last summer.

In 10 years at the helm Low has transformed a team who once drew only grudging respect into an exciting neutral's favourite, whose embarrassment of riches in attack should prove difficult to stop this summer.

Should they top the group as expected then one of Belgium, Russia, South Korea or Algeria await in the last 16, hence odds of just 1/2 (1.50) on them making the quarter-finals. With France likely to follow, odds of 6/5 (2.20) appear realistic on them making it to the last four for the 12th time in 16, although a probable semi-final against hosts Brazil make reaching the final a rather longer shot, at odds of 5/2 (3.50).

With Low building his attack around a fluid lineup of creative players, target man Mario Gomez is the biggest name to miss out on a trip to Brazil after an injury-hit season. This omission should allow Klose to surpass Gerd Muller as his country's all-time leading scorer, with the veteran striker available at 4/1 (5.00) to score the majority of his team's goals.

However, Low's experimentation with a 'false nine' system means the likes of Thomas Muller 9/2 (5.50), Reus 6/1 (7.00) Andre Schurrle 6/1 (7.00), Gotze 15/2 (8.50) and Toni Kroos 20/1 (21.00) are all realistic shouts to finish as Germany's top scorer after hitting 20 of their country's 36 goals in qualifying, while Ozil's eight-goal haul leaves his 7/1 (8.00) price looking very tempting indeed.

With so much talent to call upon in attacking midfield, Low usually does his best to fit as many creative outlets into the team as possible. The results are both pleasing on the eye and irresistibly effective, with Reus, Kroos, Ozil and Muller bound to take their country far this summer.

Odds of 11/2 (6.50) seem rather short on them becoming the first German side to ever crash out at the group stages, with the smart money surely resting on them coming a cropper against the hosts in the semis, at odds of 7/2 (4.50).

Germany's World Cup Squad - 11/2 with bet365
Goalkeepers Defence Midfield Attack
Manuel Neuer Jerome Boateng Lars Bender Miroslav Klose
Roman Weidenfeller Erik Durm Julian Draxler Kevin Volland
Ron-Robert Zieler Kevin Grosskreutz Matthias Ginter  
  Benedikt Howedes Leon Goretzka  
  Mats Hummels Mario Gotze  
  Marcell Jansen Andre Hahn  
  Philipp Lahm Sami Khedira  
  Per Mertesacker Toni Kroos  
  Shkodran Mustafi Max Meyer  
  Marcel Schmelzer Thomas Muller  
    Mesut Ozil  
    Lukas Podolski  
    Marco Reus  
    Andre Schurrle  
    Bastian Schweinsteiger  


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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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