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German boss keeps an eye on danger man Ronaldo.

GERMANY coach Joachim Low intends to field captain Philipp Lahm in mid-field in their opening World Cup fixture against Portugal on Monday to allow Jerome Boateng to focus on stopping Cristiano Ronaldo.

Low made no attempt to play down the special attention he is paying to the Real Madrid forward, while lavishing praise on a side he says Germany must take bery seriously.

Rarely has the Germany coach sounded so cautious ahead of a key tournament game, yet at the same time, he said he "can't wait" for the action to commence.

"We're up against a side who are right behind us in the world rankings, and they are the world champions when it comes to the counter-attack," Low said.

"Look at the class they have got - Portugal are def-f initely tough opponents.

"You could see Portugal Y as a finalist, with the likes of (Joao) Moutinho, Nani and Ronaldo up front, then (Bruno) Alves, Pepe and (Fabio) Coentrao all experienced guys at the back.

"They all play at the highest level and there is no other side in the world who know how to defend while preparing their next attacks the way Portugal do."

With all that in mind, Low is planning to reinforce his side's much-maligned defence, seemingly deviating from the usual notion of taking the game to their opponents - a tactic Germany are masters of - and ensuring they keep things tight.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jun 13, 2014
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