Lars Bender's Replacement and 5 World Cup Decisions for Germany's Joachim Loew

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Lars Bender's Replacement and 5 World Cup Decisions for Germany's Joachim Loew
Michael Probst/Associated Press

With Germany's opening World Cup match against Portugal now less than one month away, tension and nerves continue to grow as the famous international tournament edges ever closer to Joachim Loew's unprepared side.

Although Germany have always been slightly overcritical of their own chances ahead of recent World Cups—with Philipp Lahm's injury prior to the 2006 competition and Michael Ballack's before 2010—the Bundestrainer have come under perhaps even more pressure following a whole host of problems that look set to trip up the national team in Brazil. 

In just a few weeks, we'll know for sure where Germany stand among the great nations of world football, but for now, we can only speculate and try to predict where Loew will have to alter his plans if Lahm and Co. are to go on to any degree of success this summer. 

Here are the problems about which Loew must make a decision before the 2014 World Cup. 

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