Hassler hassled by Scholl for midfield place

Germany v Croatia Old Trafford Tomorrow, 3.0
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The Independent Online
Berti Vogts must choose between the Bayern Munich midfielder Mehmet Scholl and Thomas Hassler, who was voted the outstanding player of the finals in Sweden four years ago, as Germany prepare to face Croatia in the third quarter-final at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Hassler is yet to find his touch alongside Andy Moller and his stamina appears to be lacking after a long season, while Scholl was a key figure when Bayern lifted last season's Uefa Cup.

"Because I haven't had a chance I asked the coach where do I stand?" said the 25-year-old Scholl. "He has told me my time will come. It's not always the best 11 who get put on the field - it's those who can play the system. I haven't played for three weeks, but when my chance comes I'll be ready."

Vogts is waiting on another Bayern man, Thomas Helmer, before finalising his defence. The plan was for Helmer and club colleague Markus Babbel, available after suspension, to flank sweeper Matthias Sammer. Helmer, however, is struggling with knee trouble and that could mean Stefan Freund is employed as a stop-gap.

The right wing-back Stefan Reuter looks certain to play, leaving Vogts to decide between Oliver Bierhoff and Stefan Kuntz alongside Jurgen Klinsmann in attack.

The Croats will bring back the key players who were omitted for the final group match, which resulted in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Portugal. They rested Davor Suker, Aljosa Asanovic and Zvonimir Boban, while Robert Prosinecki is reported to be struggling with a calf injury.