Republic of Ireland somehow managed to bring all three points from Kazakhstan at the start of their qualifying campaign, but the Irish will have to show a massive improvement if they are to stop Germany from winning this game. Die Mannschaft are searching for the third successive victory and they seem like hot favourites in this one.
Major selection headache for Trapattoni
There are no doubts that the national team have profited a great deal from the work of world-class coach such as Giovanni Trapattoni, but not even the Italian tactician was able to transform Ireland into a real force to be reckoned with in European football. The dismal showings at the Euro 2012 proved this team lack the quality needed to match Europe’s top sides, with three defeats and 1-9 goal difference making for disappointing tournament finals. The Irish were very fortunate to start the 2014 World Cup qualifiers with a win, as they scored two very late goals to beat Kazakhstan, but another such performance would cost them dearly against a side as ruthless as Germany. On top of that, the hosts will be without a number of first team regulars, which is another good reason to bet on away win.
Kevin Doyle, James McClean, Sean St Ledger, Richard Dunne and Glenn Whelan are all out injured, while captain Robbie Keane is doubtful.
Germany back on track
Together with the Netherlands, Germany are renowned for largely impressing in qualifying campaigns and having won all ten games in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, despite being placed alongside Turkey, Belgium and Austria, among others, die Mannschaft hope for another winning campaign. The team have started well, beating San Marino at home and Austria away in their first two games, with a clash against injury-plagued Ireland seen as an excellent opportunity to continue the winning run. It appears that Joachim Low’s side have finally recovered from the disappointing exit from the Euro 2012, and with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, teams that give the most players to the national team, in excellent form at the moment, Germany look well prepared for what awaits them at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Philipp Lahm misses out through suspension, while Lars Bender, Matts Hummels and Ilkay Gundogan are sidelined through injury.
With Robbie Keane likely to be deployed as a lone striker, the hosts are unlikely to cause Germany’s defence problems, while the weakened back line will struggle to contain the likes of Reus, Podolski, Ozil and Klose. Taking all this into account, backing Germany to win to nil looks a good option here.
Our prediction: Germany to win to nil
Odds: 2.40 (7/5)