Saturday 17 March 2018

David Meyler relishing Republic battle with Bastian Schweinsteiger

David Meyler is ready to tackle Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, pictured
David Meyler is ready to tackle Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger, pictured

David Meyler will ignore Bastian Schweinsteiger's glittering CV if he gets the chance to go head-to-head with him in the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 showdown with Germany.

The 26-year-old Hull midfielder, who played at right-back in the 1-1 draw with the Germans in Gelsenkirchen almost a year ago, could get the nod in the middle of the park when the sides meet at the Aviva Stadium on Thursday evening with suspensions and injuries taking their toll on Martin O'Neill's squad.

If he does, that could bring him into direct contact with a man who has won almost everything there is to win in the game, although he insists he will not be fazed by the challenge.

Meyler said: "Schweinsteiger has done it for a long time at the top level - he's been around, he's won a hundred and odd caps, he's won a World Cup, he's won the Champions League, he's won several Bundesliga titles, so you look at players like him and you aspire to be like that and achieve what he's achieved.

"But at the end of the day, if you are given an opportunity to play against him, it's just me v him and I have got to get on top of him, I have got to get the better of him."

Germany boss Joachim Low enjoys an embarrassment of riches in his pool of midfielders with Manchester United man Schweinsteiger potentially lining up alongside the likes of Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller.

However, whatever Ireland may lack in terms of quality by comparison, Meyler is confident they can make up for in effort, commitment and physicality.

He said: "A lot of them don't like physicality, but that's just the way it is. We have grown up here and it's a bit different - a lot of us probably played GAA as kids, so we understand the knocks and bumps come.

"But they like to get the ball down and pass it, they 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."

Ireland know victory in either of their final two games - they face Poland in Warsaw on Sunday - will secure third place at worst, but Meyler is refusing to see that as the limit of their ambition.

He said: "Why can't we catch Poland? We have still got to play them after Germany."

Press Association

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