Jancker injury leaves Germany in the mire

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The Independent Football

Germany's already considerable injury problems have intensified ahead of their crucial World Cup qualifier against Finland here on Saturday after the Bayern Munich striker Carsten Jancker yesterday withdrew from the squad with a foot injury.

Jancker's absence leaves the Germany coach, Rudi Völler, with a dilemma over who to play up front. Of his preferred options, Miroslav Klose of Kaiserslautern is nursing a bruised foot, while Oliver Bierhoff is recovering from injury.

Besides Jancker, the Bayern midfielders Mehmet Scholl and Jens Jeremies, the forward Alexander Zickler and the defender Thomas Linke are all injured, as is the Borussia Dortmund defender Jörg Heinrich, while Liverpool's Dietmar Hamann is suspended.

Germany must defeat the Finns and then hope England slip up against Greece in order to qualify automatically from Group Nine for the 2002 finals.