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Low's new Germany comes at a price

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Group C: Germany | Ukraine | Poland | Northern Ireland

Only a run to the final will do for one of the favourites. The German players feel that, after a runner-up finish in 2008 and a loss to Italy in the 2012 semis, now is the time to win their first European Championship since 1996.

How they qualified: First in Group D

Germany took command, despite being well-beaten by Poland in their second fixture. There was another surprising setback in Ireland on the penultimate matchday, but though the world champions were rarely at their best, they did enough to win the group by a point over the Poles.

How they'll proceed:

Germany ought to win Group C, despite a rematch with that impressive Poland side, and that would earn them a third-placed opponent in the Round of 16. If all goes to plan thereafter, they will face a semifinal with the French and a victory in that should set them fair to put things right against Spain.

TBD by Editor
Germany coasted through qualifying but will need to up their game at the finals in France.

Predicted lineup:

(4-2-3-1); GK: Manuel Neuer; D: Emre Can, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector; MF: Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus; FW: Mario Gotze.

Key player: Thomas Muller

Perhaps more than any of the other quartets, Group C looks likely to be decided by its natural goal scorers. Germany's is the irrepressible Muller, who scored nine times in qualifying. It feels unthinkable that he will not be near the top of the charts this summer.

Manager: Joachim Low

Having served as an assistant under Jurgen Klinsmann, Low will celebrate a decade in charge of Germany at the end of this tournament and will hope to add a European Championship crown to the World Cup win he masterminded in Brazil two years ago.

Schedule:

June 12 vs. Ukraine (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 15 vs. Poland (3 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT; Stade de France, Saint-Denis)
-- LIVE on ESPN

June 21 vs. Northern Ireland (Noon ET/4 p.m. GMT; Parc des Princes, Paris)
-- LIVE on ESPN

Games are also live on ESPN Deportes, ESPN FC, WatchESPN and the ESPN app.

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