Van Basten: Germany weak at the back

Holland legend Marco van Basten believes Germany's bid to win Euro 2012 could be hampered by their "problems in defence".

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By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Germans had an impressive record during qualification for the competition as they won all ten of their matches, scoring 34 goals and conceding just seven in the process.

However, Joachim Low's charges have been far from impressive in their recent warm-up friendlies and conceded five goals in an embarassing 5-3 loss to Switzerland on May 26, although they made amends five days later with a 2-0 win over Israel.

Nonetheless, Van Basten believes Germany could be severely exposed if they opt for Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Per Mertesacker as his defenders, and believes Philipp Lahm is the only player worthy of a place in Low's starting XI.

"Low has a lot of problems in defence," Van Basten told Kicker.

"Badstuber is not a centre-back in my opinion as he lacks personality, Mertesacker is not fully fit and has been unimpressive, while Boateng looks shaky too.

"Lahm is the only constant factor remaining."

It remains to be seen if Mertesacker will take to the field in Germany's opening Group B game against Portugal on June 9, with Mats Hummels tipped to start alongside Badstuber, who has had a consistent season with Bayern Munich.

Should Boateng fail to step up to the challenge, Low could also shift Lahm to right-back and field Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer, who has had a very impressive campaign for his club, helping them to success in both the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal.



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