Loew to rely on Bayern players for Euro 2012
LVIV, Ukraine (AP)
Germany coach Joachim Loew is picking losers to become winners.
Loew appears ready to fashion his team at the European Championship around a Bayern Munich contingent which lost out to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race before being beaten by Chelsea on penalties in the Champions League final.
Loew's players from Dortmund, which won a second straight German title, may have to be content with places on the bench.
''I haven't noticed anything not normal, they seem to be having fun and looking forward to the tournament,'' Loew said of his Bayern players such as Thomas Mueller, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Several Dortmund players were given tryouts in the 5-3 loss to Switzerland in a friendly last month, when the Bayern group still hadn't joined the squad. All had disappointing matches, including center back Mats Hummels, who probably had the best chance of making the starting lineup.
That just might have strengthened Loew's resolve to stick with his regulars from Bayern who were at a terrible low after the Chelsea loss at the Allianz Arena.
''We had a season that was rather good until we lost two finals in two weeks. It was how we lost the Champions League final that hurt,'' midfielder Mueller said ahead of Saturday's opening match against Portugal.
''But it's more than two weeks behind us now and it's not a burden anymore.''
Mueller said it was not important which club his teammates in the national side came from.
''What's important is that you feel comfortable with the player playing next to you, that you understand each other on the field. The quality of the players means more than what club they come from, although building units from the same club is not bad,'' he said.
Instead of Hummels, Loew may go with Bayern's Holger Badstuber and Per Mertesacker of Arsenal as his two center backs, although the latter has not played a competitive match since February.
And by moving Lahm to left back, Loew has taken away Borussia defender Marcel Schmelzer's only chance of playing.
Dortmund's teenage midfielder Mario Goetze could see action, but only off the bench.