Joachim Low has revealed that Philipp Lahm is in line to start at right-back for Germany in their opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against the Faroe Islands.
The 28-year-old has continually fluctuated between either flank in defence, but the emergence of Borussia Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer down the left means the Bayern Munich captain should revert to the opposite side at the expense of Jerome Boateng.
Speaking ahead of the clash with the minnows, the Germany coach dropped his biggest hint yet that Lahm would retain his spot at right-back, and praised the development of centre-back Per Mertesacker since his move to Arsenal last year.
"It was in the training sessions and also at Bayern that he plays well at right-back," he said at a press conference. "I feel that Marcel has made the step-up.
"I also feel [that Per and Philipp] want to start positively with the rest of the team.
"Per has improved with his passing game and going forward and is now getting playing time at Arsenal."
Germany have been paired with Sweden, Republic of Ireland, Austria and Kazakhstan, as well as the Scandinavians, in Group C and are hot favourites to make the finals in Brazil. However, Low refused to get carried away.
"The squad as a whole has improved and have moved a step forward [from Euro 2012]," he added. "The hunger for success is there.
"We passed the last qualification campaign with flying colours, but this time it will be harder.
"It is certainly not a foregone conclusion against these highly motivated teams, but clear victories are expected."
And while he refuted the suggestion that his team would resemble Bayern or Dortmund, he is mulling over the deployment of Marco Reus as a 'false nine', akin to Spain, with first choice striker Mario Gomez currently injured.
"I expect an improved defensive performance against the Faroes, but we must set our stall very early in attack," he added.
"The central midfielders will fulfill their roles both offensively and defensively.
"Dortmund and Munich have their own specific playing styles, but even if there are many players from both teams, we have our own system.
"Flexibility and technical skills will be important. We want to play flat and vertical.
"Players like Marco Reus can function as a striker. We will continue to monitor Cacau and decide what to do."