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Stunned Germany expect tough test against Irish

13 October 2014, 18:29

Gelsenkirchen - Germany coach Joachim Loew says he expects another searching test against Ireland in Tuesday's Euro 2016 qualifier with the world champions still reeling from their shock defeat to Poland.

Loew's side were beaten 2-0 in Warsaw on Saturday as Poland claimed an historic first win over the Germans, who are fourth in their qualifying pool, to leave the Poles top of Group D.

Martin O'Neill's second-placed Ireland, who demolished minnows Gibraltar 7-0 in Dublin on Saturday with captain Robbie Keane claiming a hat-trick, take on Germany in Gelsenkirchen.

The Germans, who have three points from two games, are looking to get their qualifying campaign back on track while the Irish are chasing a third straight victory.

It is 20 years since the Irish last beat Germany with the hosts all too aware of their vulnerability after a host of injuries and retirements, three months after winning the World Cup.

Also read: Poland stun world champs Germany

"We can expect another copy of the Poland game, they are extremely strong in the tackle," said Loew in Monday's press conference.

"They have similar type of players to Poland with Keane, who has plenty of experience, up front.

"They have quick players like (Everton's Aiden) McGeady on the flanks who dribble well and can always cause danger.

"They now have six points and have justified hopes of qualifying for the tournament in France."

Illness forces Loew into making at least one change as defensive midfielder Christop Kramer has flu symptoms and has been sent home.

It means Real Madrid's Toni Kroos will have a new partner, likely to be untested Hoffenheim defender Sebastian Rudy or Dortmund's Matthias Ginter, who have seven caps between them.

Loew said Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi, one of the few Germans who impressed in Warsaw, will start on the right wing in Gelsenkirchen.

Having suffered their first defeat in 33 qualification matches, dating back to October 2007, Loew said there is a determined atmosphere in the German camp.

"The atmosphere isn't bad, but there is a certain amount of self-criticism," said Germany's head coach.

"The mood is also influenced by something else, anger would be the wrong word, but of absolute will.

"We have the desire to take those three points against Ireland.

"We played well against Poland, but we must get the right result now against Ireland."

The main area Germany are desperate to correct is their finishing having squandered 28 shots on goal against Poland.

Lukas Podolski came the closest to scoring when he clattered the crossbar in the second-half and Loew says finishing their chances, while depriving the Irish the chance to counter-attack, is the key.

"We were well organised against Poland and didn't allow them chances to counter-attack," said Loew.

"But taking our opportunities is something we have discussed within the team and given the chances we had, we should have scored at least one goal."



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