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O'Neill expects 'formidable' Germany to 'roar back'

13 October 2014, 21:14

Gelsenkirchen - Martin O'Neill expects 'formidable' Germany to 'come roaring back' from their shock defeat to Poland when they host his Republic of Ireland side in Tuesday's Euro 2016 qualifier.

The world champions are still reeling from Saturday's shock 2-0 defeat in Warsaw which left them in the unusual position of fourth in Group D with three points from their opening two games.

Buoyed by Saturday's 7-0 rout of minnows Gibraltar in Dublin, Ireland are second only on goal difference to group leaders Poland as they chase their first win over Germany for 20 years.

But O'Neill expects Joachim Loew's Germany to brush off retirements and injuries in key positions to prove their mettle as World Cup winners.

"I think Germany have a history of coming roaring back pretty quickly from whatever set-backs they have had," said O'Neill.

Also read: Germany midfielder ruled out of Ireland clash

"They had most of the possession (against Poland) and should have been 2-0 up at half-time, I think regardless of retirements and injuries they will still be formidable.

"Germany lost after conceding a goal just after half-time, which they wouldn't normally have done.

"Germany are Germany, let's not beat around the bush, they are a top quality team and it's less than four months after they lifted the World Cup.

"I think over the ten games, Germany will find themselves in front. They normally do."

Ireland have six points from beating Georgia and Gibraltar in their campaign and O'Neill wants to leave Gelsenkirchen's Veltins Arena with a good result before next month's game against Scotland, who are third in the group.

"This is a great occasion for us, we're delighted to be here, but more importantly we want to perform," said O'Neill.

"These are easy words to say the night before a game, we have to be really, really focused and really strong with the upmost concentration.

"There will be breaks here and there, but we have to work on the assumption that Germany, just as they did against Poland, will have more possession.

"They had everything in their favour on Saturday, other than scoring goals, and they will be out to put things right.

"We have six points on the board, the goals against Gibraltar boosted confidence and we want to get something to give us a massive boost against Scotland."

Despite scoring a hat-trick in just 12 first-half minutes against Gibraltar, the 34-year-old Robbie Keane is not assured his place in Tuesday's starting line-up.

But after Loew admitted Germany's inexperienced left-back Erik Durm still has things to learn in terms of positioning, Ireland's captain would relish taking on Germany's back four.

"You don't go into any game as a striker thinking you can't get at the back four, you have to believe that regardless who you are playing against, you can get a chance and score," said Keane.

"These are games you have to go out and enjoy, everyone wants to be involved, we are playing against one of the best teams in the world."

Sunderland defender John O'Shea is set to win his 100th cap against the Germans and O'Neill set to bring in Stoke striker Jon Walters and Wigan winger James McClean to boost the attack.

Loew has said he expects a 'battle royal' having described the Irish as "strong in the fight", something O'Neill took as a compliment,

"He has a fair amount of fight in his own team and I wouldn't decry those attributes, I'm quite pleased about what he said," said O'Neill.

"Fighting spirit won't win you every game, but it's a good start."



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