Sports

Germany's back 4 could all be central defenders, some playing out of position

  • Germany's national soccer players Lukas Podolski, left, and Per Mertesacker warm up during a training session in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Germany will play in group G of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Germany's national soccer players Lukas Podolski, left, and Per Mertesacker warm up during a training session in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Germany will play in group G of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

  • German national soccer players Per Mertesacker, left, and Thomas Mueller pose on a boat in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The German team got some motivation help from explorer and adventurer Mike Horn during a sailing outing near their camp on Brazil's Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Markus Gilliar, pool)

    German national soccer players Per Mertesacker, left, and Thomas Mueller pose on a boat in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. The German team got some motivation help from explorer and adventurer Mike Horn during a sailing outing near their camp on Brazil's Atlantic coast. (AP Photo/Markus Gilliar, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Germany's national soccer player Philipp Lahm stops a ball during a training session in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Germany will play in group G of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Germany's national soccer player Philipp Lahm stops a ball during a training session in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Germany will play in group G of the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)  (The Associated Press)

Injuries have depleted Germany's defense in such a way that its opening match against Portugal may see four central defenders in the starting line-up, with two of them out of position and two who have rarely played together.

Coach Joachim Loew didn't seem unduly worried on Friday about the prospect, confirming that his back four may feature four central defenders.

Captain and right back Philipp Lahm could move into the midfield, with Jerome Boateng taking his place in Monday's Group G match. The left back position could go to Benedikt Hoewedes, while Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker would be the central defenders.

Loew explained that fullbacks would not play as big a role at the World Cup as in qualifying, when teams usually play very defensively against Germany.