Michael Ballack: Germany has few weaknesses, but still has unanswered questions

The former Germany captain knows his country is one of the strongest sides headed to Brazil, but it still has unresolved lineup issues.
Of all the teams the USA wanted to face in this summer's World Cup, it's likely that Joachim Low's powerful Germany side ranked near the bottom of the list.

Thanks to Thursday's draw, however, Jurgen Klinsmann's men will do just that, after being drawn in Group G with Germany, Ghana and Portugal.

Klinsmann previously coached the German team and his former captain, Michael Ballack, knows that his former coach has a major challenge ahead.

"I know Germany is well prepared," Ballack, a current ESPN analyst told Goal. "They are a good team but they're desperate for success, for a title and they will go for the title I'm quite sure."

Die Mannschaft should enter the 2014 World Cup with an air of desperation, after reaching at least the semifinals in the 2006 World Cup, 2008 Euros, 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros - and winning no titles.

Though Germany only lost one game in 2013 (ironically enough to the USA in a friendly in June) and is ranked second in the world by FIFA, it does still have some issues to resolve.

"There are not many weaknesses, but if you talk about one certainly it is left back," Ballack said. "We have been struggling for a long time because for a long period, Philipp Lahm played there, then he swapped to the right side."

In recent games, Germany has alternated between Marcell Jansen and Marcel Schmelzer at the position, with neither grabbing firm hold of the job. Next to the left back will be Germany's center back pairing - not exactly a weakness, but still unsettled, with Mats Hummels, Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boating rotating through in 2013.

"The center backs – not a weaknesses, but we have to find the right couple," Ballack said. "The coach still needs to find the right couple for the starting XI and left back."

Germany has an extremely deep and talented midfield, but the way Low deploys his attack has varied of late. With normal strikers Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez nursing injuries, Germany's manager has been experimenting with a 'false nine' formation. Ballack thinks this trend could continue.

"I'm sure with Klose and Gomez, we have two really good strikers and they will play when we need them," the former Chelsea midfielder said. "But it's all about the decision by the coach, how he feels comfortable."

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