SHAY Given expects Germany to come up with a strong response to their disappointment at home to Ireland on Tuesday and leave the other sides in the group scrapping for second place.
The Ireland keeper, who underwent minor surgery on a hip problem last week, says he was thrilled to see John O'Shea's "fairytale" ending in Gelsenkirchen in that 1-1 draw.
"Germany are hurting but they will come back for sure, given the players they were missing the other night who are due to come back. They are still favourites to top the group and it's up to the rest of us to scrap for the other two positions," says the Aston Villa keeper, who has paid credit to the new management team for the current success.
"Martin has brought in a few new players and that has helped spice it up," says Given (pictured above).
"Martin is a hugely experienced manager and he commands huge respect in the dressing room. Him and Roy Keane, the two guys at the helm, are real spearheads for our campaign, they are big figures in Irish football and they command huge respect from everyone. There are new faces and new ideas and the players are responding to that.
"There are lots of twists and turns to come in the group and it's probably the hardest group in the tournament, so many good teams in the group."
Meanwhile, Given says he has recovered from the hip injury which forced him to withdraw from the Irish squad last week. "I had an operation last Monday, a minor one. I am back in the Villa squad for this weekend," he added.