Brazil boss Rene Weber goes into the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005 knowing that his team will have to find their killer instincts if they are to beat Germany in Tilburg on Friday night to reach the semi-finals.

Brazil have scored only four goals en route to the last eight - the lowest total among any of the quarter-finalists. Opponents Germany have merely gone one better with five, but Weber says the lack of Brazilian fire-power does not overly concern him.

"I am not preoccupied with this problem," he said. "In the four games we played against Nigeria, Switzerland, Korea and Syria, we had lots of opportunities to score. I would be more worried if we had not created those chances.

"The big difference is actually scoring of course, but it's question time now and we will work hard on our finishing in training."

The unexpected bonus for Weber has been the mean form of Brazil's defence, which is yet to concede a goal at Netherlands 2005. He said: "I think all the great teams have equilibrium between defence, midfield and attack. Being frugal is good, but naturally the important thing is winning. Second place is the same as last place to me.

"For example, in the 1982 World Cup Brazil had a fantastic team playing great football, but they didn't go as far as they could because they did not win against Italy and Argentina. The mentality I have given to my players is: Get to the final."

Penalty practice for Brazil
One other thing that has also been drilled home to the Brazilians is the art of penalty-taking. Brazil have prepared themselves fully for shoot-out scenarios and have been practising penalties for long periods ever since they qualified for the second round.

"I would practise them all day if I could because we have to prepare for every eventuality in the knock-outs," Weber said.

Brazil are without Diego, who has flown home with a shoulder problem and now Ernane has emerged as the latest injury concern. He had to have scans to determine the full extent of his hamstring strain and he is rated as very doubtful for the quarter-final at the Willem II Stadium.

Evandro and Fellype Gabriel stand by to come into his position if Ernane does not get the green light to play.

Better news has come from defenders Leonardo and Gladstone, who were both not fit to start the match with Syria, but are expected to be ready for the full 90 minutes against Germany - plus extra-time and those penalties if required.

Germany forced to re-think
German coach Michael Skibbe admitted the greater fitness of his players proved the deciding factor in the second round against China, something he won't be able to count on against Brazil.

He said: "When we played against USA, Egypt and China, these teams always pressed hard in the first 50-60 minutes, but I think Brazil will play in a totally different way so we have to be well-organised in defence.

"If we can keep breaking down the flanks, that way we can produce some chances to score.

"Brazil have played very well so far. They are technically good and strong in organisation and defence. They are still one of the best teams of the tournament and very difficult rivals for us."

Only Nicky Adler is rated as an injury worry for Germany, as he has a persistent groin strain. He played with the problem against China and suffered a reaction after the match, but Skibbe expects him to be ready to play through the pain if necessary.