Friday 18 August 2017

We're not set up to play for a draw - Gundogan

One of Germany's survivors from their humbling of Ireland three years ago, Jerome Boateng, reckons another early blitz in Dublin tomorrow night will get the job done again for the World champions
One of Germany's survivors from their humbling of Ireland three years ago, Jerome Boateng, reckons another early blitz in Dublin tomorrow night will get the job done again for the World champions

One of Germany's survivors from their humbling of Ireland three years ago, Jerome Boateng, reckons another early blitz in Dublin tomorrow night will get the job done again for the World champions

The Bayern Munich centre-back was rarely extended during the 6-1 masterclass and, while respectful of Ireland and their fans, suggested a defensive approach by their hosts can be countered by the pace his attackers have in spades.

"Ireland will be compact and try make life difficult for us," cautioned the 27-year-old.

"We will need to start our task from the beginning. It is about us looking for the gaps and trying to exploit them. Our last game in Dublin was good for us and I hope we can make the running again."

With 13 goals for club and country already this season, Boateng's Bayern colleague Thomas Muller is the threat Ireland's makeshift defence need to most occupy their thoughts with.

Sloppy Scottish play last month gifted the Manchester United target his two goals in the 3-2 victory in Glasgow, highlighting the perils of allowing the striker space and time within shooting distance.

"Thomas is unique," gushed Boateng yesterday after the man whose brace crowned Bayern's 5-1 triumph over Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

"He is very difficult to manage inside the box and long may it continue to be that way for Germany and Bayern."

One point from their final pair of qualifiers against Ireland and Georgia will confirm Germany's route to France, a clear path towards replicating Spain's feat of holding the World and European titles at the same time.

"We're not set up tactically to play for a draw," confessed Ilkay Gundogan, scorer of what proved the winner against Scotland.

"We want to win, of course, and I'm sure we'll play for all three points. It's all we know."

Joachim Loew will take his squad through their final training session this evening at Lansdowne Road.

Whether Karim Bellarabi (shoulder) or Lukas Podolski (ankle) are fit enough to participate is questionable but neither were likely to start the game anyway.

In contrast to his Irish counterpart Martin O'Neill, all of Loew's first-choice players are available, presenting him with no bigger problem than trying to accommodate the returning Marco Reus in his line-up.

It's certainly a world apart from the issues consuming O'Neill on the eve of this penultimate Group D tie for the Irish.

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