Punters who had already backed Germany to win the 2014 World Cup won’t have been best pleased at the news that Joachim Low’s 30-man squad, announced yesterday, includes just one recognised centre-forward.
A legend he may be, but at 35-years-old Miroslav Klose cannot be relied upon to carry the baton up front on his own throughout the tournament.
Klose has only managed to start more than three successive games once all season for club side Lazio, making the decision not to include Mario Gomez, so slick in sharing the golden boot at the European Championships in 2012, all the more mystifying.
Yet, the Germans remain 5/1 joint-second favourites to twin the tournament, along with Argentina, so why no loosening of the reigns by the eagle-eyed bwin layers?
Firstly Klose, or any other orthodox centre-forward Low could have called up, would likely have been used sparingly, with the Die Mannschaft boss often preferring to include another of his glut of classy attacking midfielders in the middle of an attacking three.
Against the Republic of Ireland Mesut Ozil, who joins Arsenal teammates per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski in the 30, was the false nine, while Mario Gotze was the central attacker in the friendly against Italy in November.
It’s a system with winning form at major tournaments after Vicente del Bosque used it to dismantle the Italian side that had earlier eliminated Germany 4-0 in the Euro 2012 final.
Then there’s the fact that so many of their goals have come from attacking midfield, with Klose’s four strikes in qualifying a drop in the ocean besides Ozil’s eight.
Marco Reus, in sensational form this term with 22 goals in 41 outings for Borussia Dortmund, also outscored the veteran, while Thomas Muller, Andre Schurrle and Gotze all equalled his contribution in the highest scoring outfit in European qualifying.
FC Bayern man Muller also shared top-scorer honours at the previous FIFA shindig in South Africa and his striker’s instincts mean that Germany won’t be missing a predatory edge in Brazil with or without a centre-forward.