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By ESPN Staff

German support for goalkeeper Kahn slumps

BERLIN, April 4 (Reuters) - Public support for Oliver Kahn has plunged while backing for Jens Lehmann is surging ahead of next month's decision on who will be Germany's goalkeeper at the World Cup.

A survey by the Forsa polling institute on Tuesday found backing for Bayern Munich's Kahn fell to 36 percent from 49 in February while backing for Arsenal's Lehmann jumped to 30 percent from 19 two months ago.

Kahn, who led Germany to the 2002 World Cup final, and Lehmann, for years his understudy, have been locked in a bitter battle. Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann plans to pick one of the two next month.

Kahn made a costly blunder in Bayern's 2-2 home draw against Cologne last Saturday and also made a mistake in Germany's last friendly, a 4-1 win over the United States last month.

Lehmann has had a run of clean sheets for Arsenal and performed well in recent Champions League matches broadcast in Germany.

The World Cup begins in Germany on June 9.