By Opeyemi Oladunjoye
Germany’s world cup squad will have injuries to blame for some misfortunes they might encounter as their defence has been depleted ahead of their opening match against Portugal in such a way that they may only have four central defenders in the starting lineup, with two of them out of position and two who have rarely played together.
Coach Joachim Löw did not seem unduly worried on Friday about the prospect, confirming that his back four may feature four central defenders.
The captain and right-back Philipp Lahm could move into the midfield, with Jérôme Boateng taking his place in Monday’s Group G match. The left-back position could go to Benedikt Höwedes, while Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker would be the central defenders.
The left-back position has been a source of worry for Löw for a long time as Marcel Schmelzer was ruled out of the World Cup with a knee injury and Borussia Dortmund team-mate, Erik Durm, to whom his place went is a newcomer, who started out as a forward and was retrained as a defender by Dortmund’s coach, Jürgen Klopp, to replace the injured Schmelzer.
Lahm could be needed in a defensive midfield position as there are doubts about Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fitness following a knee injury, while Sami Khedira is also sitting out six months with a knee injury.