Star man: Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich)

One to watch: Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich)

Coach: Joachim Loew (above)

Qualified: Europe group winners

Best World Cup: Winners (1954, 1974, 1990)

Predicted group finish: 1

Have suffered their fair share of near-misses in the five World Cups since Franz Beckenbauer's West Germany triumphed at Italia '90. A runners-up finish, two quarter-final and two semi-final appearances have been achieved since and Die Mannschaft will again expect to go far.


Star man: Michael Essien (AC Milan)

One to watch: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese)

Coach: Kwesi Appiah (above)

Qualified: Africa play-off winners

Best World Cup: Quarter-finals (2010)

Predicted group finish: 4

Ghana's qualifying campaign suggested they are in good shape, with Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan swept aside before their emphatic victory against a well-regarded Egypt side, with their 6-1 win in the first leg of the play-off shocking everyone. Reached last eight in 2010, but will do well to get out of the group.