Low: Man marking Pirlo would be useless

The Germany coach revealed his side would not be preoccupied with reducing the midfielder's influence and will instead focus on how they would usually play
Germany coach Joachim Low has intimated his team will do little to directly disrupt Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo when the two nations meet in the Euro 2012 semi-final on Thursday.

The Juventus midfielder put in his best performance of the tournament as the Azzurri defeated England on penalties in the last eight, but Low insisted his side must focus on their own game.

"He [Pirlo] is having a bit of a renaissance. He is an outstanding footballer and a brilliant strategist. Man marking is useless with him because he drops deep so often," Low said in a press conference.

"[Italy can play] 3-5-2 or 4-4-2. We have to familiarise and prepare for both systems. We want to keep our own rhythm.

"Italy have developed enormously since 2010. They have shown a lot of quality at the Euros. We must bring our own game to the field and not cater to our opponent.

With Bastian Schweinsteiger struggling for fitness after their quarter-final win over Greece, Low declared that the Bayern Munich man will be fine and that no player will start unless they are completely fit.

"No player will play if he is only 95 per cent fit. He [Schweinsteiger] had some problems with his passes against Greece but he is self-critical. He has trained hard and I maintain that all players are fit to play.

"He is very confident and we will need him because he is important.

"I don't want to base my line-up on the result of the last game but instead of what I need against the next opponent. Italy are a completely different animal [than Greece]."

The Germany coach also eased the pressure on his team by stating that Spain remain the most likely side to lift the title but that Portugal would provide staunch opposition.

"Spain are the favourites. Portugal are contenders as well and one of the best counterattacking teams. Even Spain are going to find it difficult against them but Spain have one of the best defences."

Miroslav Klose also spoke to the press and admitted that despite spending a year playing in Serie A with Lazio there was no tactical help he could offer and was simply focusing on preparing for the match.

"I don't need to give the coach any tips. Our scouts have watched Italy. When we play at our best it is difficult to beat us.

"I don't think Italy played attacking football against England. England pulled back. Things will be a bit different against us. We know where their weaknesses are. We will concentrate defensively.

"I am preparing as if I would start. We have two great forwards and the coach has shown that he has made the right selections lately."