Ilkay Gundogan and Jerome Boateng have highlighted the importance of Thomas Muller ahead of Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifying double-header against the Republic of Ireland and Georgia.
Bayern Munich attacker Muller has scored 13 goals in 13 games for club and country in the 2015-16 campaign, including a double in Germany’s 3-2 win in Scotland last month.
That win took Joachim Low’s men to the brink of qualification – a draw in Dublin on Thursday will be enough for them to secure a place in France next summer – and Gundogan and Boateng feel Muller will be a key man.
“You can’t defend against Thomas Muller, it’s extremely difficult for defenders,” said Gundogan. “As an opposing player, you never know what he’s going to do next.”
Boateng and Gundogan were in direct opposition on Sunday as Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund 5-1 in Der Klassiker – a game in which Muller netted twice – and the former Manchester City defender also joined in the praise of his club team-mate, claiming he was “unique”.
Gundogan is relishing the trip to Ireland with Martin O’Neill’s men also in need of points to maintain their qualification push.
“It will be a great atmosphere in a great stadium. We’re looking forward to that,” he added. “We’re aiming to win both matches.”
Boateng is arguably Germany’s most reliable centre-half and he puts his progression down to current Bayern boss Pep Guardiola and his predecessor Jupp Heynckes.
“I feel I’ve developed well. I want to improve every day and enjoy it when I’m on the pitch,” he said.
“Heynckes and Pep have done so much for me. As well as my family, especially my brothers.”
Germany have a doubt over Galatasaray forward Lukas Podolski due to an ankle injury.