Wingers Lukas Podolski and Marko Marin have revealed Germany's plan to pepper the Australia defence with enough crosses to 'tear them apart' in Sunday's Group D clash.
The two sides meet at Durban Stadium in their opening game of the tournament with Germany, who are favourites to win the group, likely to adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation. Podolski is likely to start on the left wing with Mesut Ozil on the right, but Marin proved his worth off the bench in Germany's warm-up win against Bosnia last week with a series of darting runs which stretched the defence.
Debate is raging in Germany as to whether Miroslav Klose, the top-scorer at the last FIFA World Cup™, or Stuttgart's Cacau will start as Germany's lone striker, but either way, Podolski and Marin plan to supply the frontman with plenty of ball.
We know that Australia will be defence minded and we will just have to try and find the gaps.
"I think the play from the wings will be dead important, that is our game," said Marin. "The Australians will be playing deep and it will be important to 'tear them apart', so to speak, by putting balls in from the wing. It is no problem having a lone striker up front, we just have to make sure he is well fed with possession. Whether I play on the left or right doesn't matter," he added. "I can play on either side, I really hope to be in the starting line-up on Sunday and if not I will do my best as a substitute."
Podolski added the pressure of the 'favourites' tag will not be a factor on the Germans who are bidding to win their fourth FIFA World Cup title. "Of course there is some kind of pressure as we go into this game as favourites, but we will go in with confidence into our three group games and we really, really want to win the opening game," he said. "We know that Australia will be defence minded and we will just have to try and find the gaps. We will just have to use our strikers and find a way through."
Germany have a relatively young squad in South Africa, but Podolski says the younger members will step up to the plate with a strong performance on Sunday. With Michael Ballack out with an ankle injury, defender Philipp Lahm takes over as captain of a side boasting several members of the impressive team which won the Under-21 European Championships in 2009.
The defensive midfielder role vacated by Ballack is likely to be filled by 22-year-old Sami Khedira, while the dazzling skills of 21-year-olds Ozil and Marin can play havoc with defences. Likewise, both 20-year-old Thomas Mueller and 21-year-old Holger Badstuber were plucked from Bayern Munich's reserves only last August, yet both have already claimed their first cap and played in a UEFA Champions League final.
"Age doesn't come into it in the least, it is just a matter of good or bad," said Podolski. "Germany have a very good group of young players who won the Euro Under-21 last season. Like Spain we have introduced a lot of good players, and we plan to hit the ground running with a win on Sunday."