Republic of Ireland midfielder David Meyler acknowledged he must get the better of Bastian Schweinsteiger if his side are to be successful against Germany.
Martin O’Neill’s men take on the world champions in Dublin on Thursday, before facing Poland in their final Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday.
Any outcome is still possible for Ireland – they could finish in their current position of third and take a play-off spot, catch second-placed Poland for an automatic place or drop to fourth behind Scotland, meaning they would miss out on a ticket to France.
Meyler, 26, is aware of the scale of the challenge he faces by coming up against Germany skipper and Manchester United star Schweinsteiger, but is optimistic about his own chances in that duel as well as his team’s possibilities for the two games.
“Schweinsteiger has done it for a long time at the top level – he has been around,” said the Hull City midfielder. “He has won a hundred odd caps, won a World Cup, won the Champions League, won several Bundesliga titles, so you look at players like him and you aspire to be like that and achieve what he has.
“But at the end of the day, if you are given an opportunity to play against him, it is just me versus him and I have got to get on top of him. I have got to get the better of him.
“A lot of them don’t like physicality, but that is just the way it is. They like to get the ball down and pass it and don’t like too much contact, so we need to get into their faces and make it tough for them, make it a tough evening, make it hard work.
“Why can’t we catch Poland? We have still got to play them after Germany.”