Germany coach Joachim Low believes that neutralising Andres Iniesta and Xavi will be the key to his side's hopes of upsetting Spain in tomorrow's World Cup semi-final in Durban.
The Barcelona pair played major roles when Vicente del Bosque's team were crowned European champions two years ago and have again figured heavily in their progression in South Africa.
Low, whose own midfielders did a fine job in their 4-0 quarter-final win over Argentina in which Lionel Messi was anonymous, said: "They've played together for a long time at Barcelona, that's what makes the difference.
"But if we get on top of them and put them under pressure, as we did with Messi, that will be the key to the match."
Low praised the way his side have asserted themselves on the tournament, considering all the players are home-based. Other top nations have players plying their trade in several of Europe's top leagues.
The Germans will be without one of their stars of the tournament, Thomas Muller, after his two yellow cards earned him an automatic one-match suspension.