Stefan Kermas-coached Germany may not be the favourites at this year's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar, but that doesn't mean they can be taken lightly at such a big event. At last year's Hockey World League Final, which took place at the same venue, Germany came fourth, losing the third-place play-off to India. But that was a team ravaged by injuries after as many as seven players fell ill allegedly due to food served in the hotel.
This time, though, Stefan Kermas is extra cautious with regard to the health of their players. The German team now have a 'health package' for their players to follow during the course of the World Cup. Form-wise, the sixth-ranked Germans have been at the top of their game, defeating Spain in all three matches played as preparation for the World Cup. They scored as many as 14 goals in those three matches against the ranked ninth Spaniards.
In Bhubaneswar, they will face Netherlands, Pakistan and Malaysia in their Pool D matches. The risk of getting eliminated is not much for Germany, as they will be aiming for easy wins against lower-ranked teams like Pakistan and Malaysia. The obvious crucial match for Germany in the group stage is against the Netherlands. Captained by Martin Haner, Germany will look to defeat the Dutch and possibly finish on top of their group, thereby qualifying for the quarter-final directly, instead of playing the crossover matches.
Germany had clinched the World Cup twice " 2002 and 2006. The brilliant run continued in the Olympics as well, with Germany winning gold medals at the Beijing and London Games. Over last few years, Germany's dominance has faded a bit, but they still have the players who can pull it off for them. Florian Fuchs and Timm Herzbruch will lead the attack and going by their pre World Cup form, they can make a big impact in Bhubaneswar.
Squad: Mark Appel, Tobias Walter, Florian Fuchs, Benedikt Furk, Mats Grambusch, Tom Grambusch, Johannes GroÃe, Martin Haner, Tobias Hauke, Timm Herzbruch, Dieter Linnekogel, Marco Miltkau, Mathias Muller, Dan Nguyen Luong, Christopher RÃ¼hr, Ferdinand Weinke, Niklas Wellen, Lukas Windfeder.
Head Coach: Stefan Kermas