Germany will have to beat 11 Irish players on the field and thousands off it when they look to win the point they need to qualify for Euro 2016 tomorrow, according to Ilkay Gundogan and Jerome Boateng.
Having beaten Scotland in front of a partisan crowd in Glasgow last month, Germany have already had a taste of what they can expect at the Aviva Stadium this week with the atmosphere seen as one of the biggest challenges they will face.
“The fans make it a great atmosphere, but we just have to focus on our game,” said Bayern Munich defender Boateng.
Dortmund midfielder Gundogan added: “I think that Ireland are similar to Scotland and it’s going to be a great atmosphere, and I think we can all look forward to it. We beat Scotland, though, and we should be aiming to do the same in Dublin to book our ticket [to France].”
A point would suffice for Germany to seal their qualification mathematically from Group D. They will nevertheless not be playing for a draw in Dublin with Gundogan explaining that is not the world champions’ mentality.
“We’ve not even had the chance to talk about it yet, but I don’t think we’re going to aim to get the point we need and play a tactical game,” he said. “We want to win, of course, and I’m sure we’ll play for all three points.”
Boateng has warned that Germany will have to be patient but he is equally convinced that those fans who will be jeering their every touch at the start of the game will be recognising their quality come the end. “We’ve got to keep things tight to start with and be patient, and then look for the gaps and try to exploit them,” he said. “We do hear the fans, but even if we put together a good move or score a good goal you always get applause from the home fans here. They are very respectful. It’s great to see how fair most of the fans are in Ireland.”
Forward Lukas Podolski is a doubt due to an ankle injury.