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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Jeremies primed to fill in
Jens Jeremies in action for Germany against USA
Jeremies has started just one of Germany's games
Jens Jeremies is set to replace the suspended Michael Ballack when Germany take on Brazil in the World Cup final.

Jeremies has featured in all six of his side's games but his only start was against Paraguay in the second round.

Ballack is ruled out of Sunday's clash in Yokohama after picking up a second yellow card in the 1-0 semi-final win against South Korea.

Open Quote
Brazil know they will have to produce an exceptional performance to beat us
Close Quote
Germany assistant coach Michael Skibbe

Carsten Jancker was the only player to miss training on Thursday with a sore throat - but is expected to be available for selection on Sunday.

And Germany's assistant coach Michael Skibbe admitted Bayern Munich midfielder Jeremies has strong claims to a starting role in the final.

"We haven't decided what we will do yet and even if we had, we wouldn't say for obvious reasons," said Skibbe.

"But yes, Jeremies is an excellent alternative. He's got great international experience.

"He has power inside him and he is always running. If he does come in he would be a very good option for the Brazil game."

Skibbe was in Saitama to see Brazil book their place in the final with a 1-0 victory against Turkey.

He prepared a detailed report for coach Rudi Voeller - and realises Brazil's main strength is their counter-attacking play.

"The most important thing is that we don't get caught out on thecounter-attack," said Skibbe.

Jens Jeremies trains in front of coach Rudi Voeller
Jeremies would bring steel to the German midfield
"That is Brazil's forte and strong point. They have incredibly fast players.

"That was visible in the match with England. England lost the ball in midfield because the Brazilian players were swarming around like bees.

"They play a very fast flowing, attacking game and on the counter-attack is how they score most of their goals."

But Skibbe was upbeat about Germany's chances of beating the four-times champions.

"Brazil have some class individual players - and not just the three Rs. But I'm optimistic. I'm always this way and I was born this way," he said.

"We know Brazil will take it to the limit, but we've come so far.

"As a team we have always worked hard and a final is such an incredible challenge and experience. Every German player will do their utmost to win.

"Brazil had a very hard time against Turkey last night and Luiz Felipe Scolari and his players will know they will have to produce an exceptional performance to beat us."


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