Kick Off: Friday 12th October
Live on TV: 7.45pm Sky Sports 2
Ireland welcome Germany to the Aviva Stadium looking to build on their 2-1 away win vs Kazakhstan which gave them a 100% start to life in Group C of World Cup Qualifying.
However they face an exceptionally stern test here as the world’s second best team (according to FIFA rankings) travel to the Irish capital.
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Germany and Ireland haven’t met in almost 5 years to the day where they played out a goalless draw but since then we’ve seen the Germans re-built into the annoyingly efficient and ultimately fantastic team that they are today.
Ireland have improved too don’t forget, they were supported in their thousands when they reached the Euro 2012 finals this summer but the bridge between qualifying for a Major tournament and competing with Major teams hasn’t yet been crossed for the Irish despite their plucky efforts.
The gulf in class is represented in the odds to win this match as Joachim Loew’s men are just 2/5 with Ladbrokes to get the 3 points away from home, whilst if you fancy the luck of the Irish it’s 7/1 about a home win, while you’ll get half that for a draw, at 7/2.
Ireland’s Premier League contingent will be all too aware of Lukas Podolski after his blistering start in English football for the Gunners, and the 7/4 available for a Podolski anytime goal coupled with a German win seems great value.
Robbie Keane has been the heartbeat of the national side for nearly 300 years and he was the man responsible for Ireland’s last goal against the Germans, in the 90th minute of a World Cup finals match 10 years ago in Japan.
The wee Irishman will be a big miss for his national side after an achilles injury ruled him out, West Brom’s Shane Long is a more than adequate replacement though, and is a 9/1 shot for the first goal in Dublin.