What: 2014 World Cup Qualifying – Group C
Who: Republic of Ireland vs Germany
Where: Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
When: Friday 12th October, 2012, at 19:45 UK Time

High Hopes

Three points behind Group C leaders Germany, Ireland will be hoping for a win when they face the three-time FIFA World Cup winners on home turf. Knowing that there is a big gulf in class between them and the side ranked second in the world, surpassing Germany will be tough for the Irish. However, Giovanni Trapattoni’s men go into this one confident that they can earn a result on the night.

Ireland can be thankful that they only trail the leaders by three points and have a game in hand. Pitted in a group that also has Sweden and Austria as worthy adversaries, every point will count for the Boys in Green, especially those available on home soil.

And Ireland assistant manager Marco Tardelli has promised the country’s fans that his side will be going out for the win against the Mannschaft.

“We will try to win, it is normal for us. We know that Germany are a very good team and we have many problems, but we need to believe it is possible to play against all teams”, concluded the former Juventus player.

Consolidating the Lead

Germany already have a perfect record in their group as they top the table with two wins after two games played. Having the best attack and the second best defence of the group’s six teams makes them the side to beat. To make it three wins, the Germans have to find a way past the Republic of Ireland first, where they will be expecting to encounter a hostile reception at the Aviva Stadium.

Out of Germany’s usual big names, Matt Hummels and Mario Gomez miss this encounter, but the side still boast a plethora of players capable of making the difference against the Irish. Nonetheless, midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger feels that the win against Ireland will not come easily.

“It is not easy to win there because the Irish are very strong and combative, they wear their hearts on their sleeves and have an experienced coach. In addition, they have a passionate crowd – the atmosphere there is always fantastic.”

Furthermore, three points against Ireland would benefit Joachim Low’s men as they prepare to face Sweden just four days later.

Recent form

Serbia 0-0 Ireland (15/08; Friendly)
Kazakhstan 1-2 Ireland (07/09; World Cup Qualifying)
Oman 1-4 Ireland (11/09; Friendly)

Germany 1-3 Argentina (15/08; Friendly)
Germany 3-0 Faroe Islands (07/09; World Cup Qualifying)
Austria 1-2 Germany (11/09; World Cup Qualifying)

Key absences

Ireland: Richard Dunne; Sean St Ledger; Robbie Keane

Germany: Mario Gomez; Mats Hummels

Players to watch

Ireland – Jonathan Walters: With usual talisman Robbie Keane injured, the burden has fallen upon Stoke City man Jonathan Walters to spearhead Ireland’s charge. He is expected to operate as a lone striker and must take whatever chances he gets – which are sure to be few.

Germany – Mesut Ozil: The playmaker excelled on Sunday as Real Madrid faced Barcelona, providing the assist for his side’s second goal. While he may have sat on the bench with his club recently, he remains a pillar for the national side with his defence-splitting passes.

Match Prediction

Ireland will not be intimidated by the Germans, but the guests remain a strong side. This will be a good test for the Euro 2012 semi-finalists, but one that they should eventually pass as they continue their fine qualifying run. Ireland 0-2 Germany.

Fancy a bet this weekend? Check out our Ireland v Germany betting preview!