World ranking: 4

Best European Championship finish: Winners – 1972, 1980 (as West Germany), 1996

How they qualified: Germany reached the finals by beating Poland and the Republic of Ireland to the top spot in Group D.

Fixtures: Group C – Ukraine (12 June), Poland (16 June), Northern Ireland (21 June)

Squad -

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer, Bernd Leno, Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Emre Can, Jonas Hector, Benedikt Howedes, Mats Hummels, Shkodran Mustafi, Antonio Rudiger

Midfielders: Sami Khedira, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil, Andre Schurrle, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane, Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich

Strikers: Thomas Muller, Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski

Mario Gomez
Mario Gomez's resurgence at Besiktas has seen him regain his international place CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images

Expectations: For a team of Germany's stature, the goal at major tournaments is always total victory. Die Mannschaft lifted the World Cup for a fourth time in 2014 courtesy of a memorable extra-time winner from Mario Gotze that defeated Argentina at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, but they have not tasted European Championship success since Oliver Bierhoff's Wembley brace two decades ago.

A number of familiar faces remain, yet there has been a transition in certain areas with reliable captain Philipp Lahm, defensive colleague Per Mertesacker and the World Cup record-scorer Miroslav Klose all retiring from international football after their exploits in Brazil. Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger looks set to captain his country once more despite being ruled out since March with another knee injury and playmaker Mesut Ozil will be hopeful of rediscovering his blistering early-season form for Arsenal.

Experience in the forward ranks comes from Galatasaray's Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez, who is back in the international fold after a hugely productive loan spell with Turkish champions Besiktas. Marco Reus has been ruled out of a second successive tournament due to injury.

Manager: Joachim Low – Crucial to Germany's success over recent years has been the sense of continuity provided by long-serving boss Low. The 56-year-old, who has been frequently linked with a return to club management with the likes of Arsenal or Everton, was appointed as assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann in 2004 and officially succeeded his compatriot two years later after a third-place finish at the World Cup on home soil.

Joachim Low
Joachim Low's club experience includes stints with Stuttgart and Fenerbahce JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

A decade later he remains in the job, having been handed another contract extension last March that is due to keep him in place until after the 2018 WC in Russia. It speaks volumes for both Low's approach and the quality of players available to him that Germany have reached at least the semi-finals in all four tournament appearances under his tutelage.

IBTimes UK prediction: Semi-finals - Germany know what it takes to be successful at this level and should reach the latter stages once again under Low. However, a lack of intimidating forward options may see them fall short.