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Republic of Ireland v Germany: Gundogan doesn´t want to play for a draw

Ilkay Gundogan insists it is not in Germany’s nature to play for a draw against the Republic of Ireland, despite one point being all they need to seal qualification for Euro 2016.

The world champions sit top of Group D on 19 points from eight matches and are already assured of a play-off place, with a draw in Dublin all they need to secure a top-two spot and an automatic spot in France.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder, though, expects Joachim Low’s side to go for all three points and thinks their recent experience in an intimidating away venue against Scotland will serve them well.

“I think that Ireland are similar to Scotland and it is going to be a great atmosphere – we can all look forward to it,” said Gundogan.

“We beat Scotland, though, and we should be aiming to do the same in Dublin to book our ticket. It has not been discussed yet, but I don’t think we are going to aim to get the point we need and play a tactical game that way.

“We want to win, of course, and I am sure we will play for all three points.”

Ireland assistant boss Roy Keane knows his side have two crucial qualifiers over the next week, with the game against Germany on Thursday being followed by a trip to Poland on Sunday in their final tie.

Martin O’Neill’s men currently sit third, four points ahead of Scotland, but Gordon Strachan’s team could still finish above them depending on the results of their own last two games against Poland and Gibraltar.

Fprmer Manchester United and Ireland captain Keane believes the nation’s current crop should be relishing the opportunity to play in such a huge game.

“With the campaign now coming towards the end, this is what the players look forward to,” he said.

“It is a big game, quality opposition – this is what it is all about. We have played a lot of games with Ireland when we have not had as much possession as the opposition.

“So you have got to take that into consideration, but when we do have possession we will have to play with it and be brave. We have to look after the ball and trust the players and the qualities that we have.”

Germany have an injury doubt over Lukas Podolski (ankle), but in-form Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller – who has scored eight goals in seven qualifiers – is sure to provide Germany’s chief attacking threat.

Ireland will be checking on the status of Seamus Coleman (hamstring) and Wes Hoolahan (heel) ahead of kick-off. Ciaran Clark and Marc Wilson are ruled out, as are Glenn Whelan and James McClean (suspended). 

Keane also said he expects his namesake Robbie Keane to play despite missing training on Tuesday after his wife gave birth. 

Tue 6 Oct, 2015
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