* COACH: Berti Vogts.
* KEY PLAYERS: Juergen Klinsmann, Andreas Moeller, Lothar Matthaeus.
* STRENGTHS: Disciplined, well-organized and exceptionally experienced, the Germans are again among the favorites. As defending champions, they know what it takes to pace themselves through the seven matches needed to win the Cup. Klinsmann leads the attack. Moeller, helped by Thomas Haessler, will organize the midfield, and Matthaeus is supposed to hold the defense intact.
* WEAKNESSES: If Klinsmann can be stopped, Germany has struggled to find another consistent goal scorer. The defense is either well-seasoned or ready to crumble, depending on the viewpoint. Heat could be a factor in making the older players feel their age.
* WORLD CUP HISTORY: Twelve previous appearances. Record of 39-15-14. Winner in 1954, 1974, 1990; runner-up in 1966, 1982 and 1986; third in 1934 and 1970; fourth in 1958.
* LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Former German star Wolfgang Overath is the only player in history to have played on teams that finished first, second and third in the World Cup, doing so in 1974, 1966 and 1970, respectively. If Germany finishes third in this tournament, several other players will join him, since Germany has been second and first in the last two Cups.
* OUTLOOK: Germany has benefited from having perhaps the easiest of the first-round groups. It is impossible to see Bolivia, Spain or South Korea giving Germany any difficulties. The organization of the competition puts the Germans on track to meet Argentina or Italy somewhere along the way. If they are not upset then, they will be in the final for a record fourth consecutive time.
* PREDICTED FIRST-ROUND FINISH: First.
No. Name Position 1 Bodo Illgner Goalkeeper 12 Andreas Koepke Goalkeeper 22 Oliver Kahn Goalkeeper 2 Thomas Strunz Defender 3 Andreas Brehme Defender 4 Juergen Kohler Defender 5 Thomas Helmer Defender 6 Guido Buchwald Defender 10 Lothar Matthaeus Defender 14 Thomas Berthold Defender 17 Martin Wagner Defender 7 Andreas Moeller Midfielder 8 Thomas Haessler Midfielder 15 Maurizio Gaudino Midfielder 16 Matthias Sammer Midfielder 20 Stefan Effenberg Midfielder 21 Mario Basler Midfielder 9 Karlheinz Riedle Forward 11 Stefan Kuntz Forward 13 Rudi Voeller Forward 18 Juergen Klinsmann Forward 19 Ulf Kirsten Forward