"Despite all the discussions about Lahm and his teammates, Loew does not feel he has to panic."
Berlin, June 26 - When Joachim Loew's Germany meet Juergen Klinsmann's Team USA in their final group match Thursday, it will in no way be just another World Cup match. It's even more than a battle for three points.

As clear favourites, the Germans will have to improve on their weak performance against Ghana (2-2) and they will also be looking to prove that they are not only tactically, but physically the better team, reports Xinhua.

Klinsmann will on the other hand be trying to prove his detractors wrong by showing that his tactical brain is as good as his former assistant Loew.

The decisive tactical hot-spot will be at the heart of midfield, though the flanks will also be vital. It will be a battle of two masterminds, despite many World Cup games that have been decided largely by physical fitness.

Against Team USA, Germany's game will have to show greater mettle on the wings and in midfield as the USA will no doubt concentrate on pressurising German captain Philipp Lahm who is the centre of much debate in Germany.

Former captain Michael Ballack said the German team is weaker with Lahm in defensive midfield and that the 30-year-old would be much more valuable as a right back. Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho thinks the same. But Loew will stick to Lahm in midfield and again play with four central defenders at the back despite their weakness going forward.

But Loew possibly wants to create more drive in midfield by replacing Sami Khedira with Bastian Schweinsteiger who will have a slightly more attacking role to play.

Germans can't afford to give the ball away so often in the centre of the park. Schweinsteiger, Toni Koos and Lahm will have to go forward more and get to grips with the more physical game of the Americans.

Against Ghana, Schweinsteiger gave his team a much needed structure, but only in the last 20 minutes when he was sent on as a substitute.

Despite everything, Loew insists on his team having more possession than Klinsmann who allows his team more freedom in midfield and down the flanks.

Therefore Germany will have to take control of any space appearing in midfield and be alert for any US counter-attacks. The final group game is likely to be the most intense so far for both teams.

Against the no nonsense US defense, Loew will again need mobile strikers such as Mario Goetze or Lukas Podolski up front, the latter may make his first appearance in the starting line-up in Brazil.

One of Goetze or Mesut Oezil might well take up a place on the bench despite Loew being a fan of Oezil. Centre forward Miroslav Klose will most likely keep his joker role as Thomas Mueller seems to offer more variety in the spearhead.

The Germans are taking USA very seriously as Thomas Mueller and Loew's reactions show.

It can be all over very quickly at the World Cup. We have to be fully concentrated every second, said Mueller.

And Loew is also very positive. Much more important than any discussion about the starting eleven or particular positions are the thoughts in players' heads, said Loew.

It means they have to be on full alert at all times. It all starts in one's head, he added.

Despite all the discussions about Lahm and his teammates, Loew does not feel he has to panic.

I see things from the inside and I'm confident. Things get really tough as soon as the group matches are over and every single mistake means you are on your way home, warned Loew who knows that both his German team and Klinsmann's USA only need a point to qualify for the knock-out stages.


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