Norwich City’s Celts prepare to fight for Euro 2016 bragging rights

Goalkeeper Shay Given insists Republic of Ireland are confident of causing a shock upset against world champions Germany as they prepare for their crucial Euro 2016 qualifying tie on Thursday. We’ll see when the game airs on ESPN this Thursday?


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 know what to expect, we have to stay as patient as we did in the 3-2 win in Scotland and wait for our chances”, said Germany centre-back Jerome Boateng.

Lukas Podolski is a doubt for both the Ireland match and Sunday’s home game against Georgia in Leipzig as the Galatasaray striker has injured his left ankle.

“The crowd will play a huge part as well, it’s a sell out at the Aviva Stadium and we need the 12th man behind us”. Their performances against Germany and Poland at the start of the campaign – if they can repeat those performances, there could be an opportunity against Poland. If we can get six points out of that then we can push up into third and maybe even second if results go our way.

Die Mannschaft have won their last five matches on the spin to move to the top of the table, including their victories over Poland and Scotland in the last round of fixtures.

“The Irish have Germany at home and Poland away, which are two tough games, but we can only focus on ourselves and picking up six points”, he said.

Defensively, Germany has been suspect at times during their Group D matches, keeping just three clean sheets in their eight matches, which have come against Gibraltar and Georgia. For Germany, Joachim Low has a healthy squad going into this game. Robbie Keane and he are just two of the mainstays likely to retire once Ireland’s interest in the Euros ends and what’s coming behind doesn’t inspire confidence in a player whose arrival on the global circuit in 1996 kick-started a new generation of gems that flourished under Mick McCarthy.

Ireland took one point in last match against Germany thanks to late equalizer John O’Shea scored in 94 minute. Ciaran Clark and Marc Wilson are ruled out, as are Glenn Whelan and James McClean (suspended).

Germany can boast a midfield featuring Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marco Reus for the clash against O’Neill’s men, while Muller and Mario Gotze will operate in the final third. If next clash can be judged by the last journey of Germany to Dublin, Ireland will be up to his neck in trouble.

Ireland have been solid at the back throughout their qualifying campaign, but the Germans still need to secure their place in the tournament next year themselves despite leading the group.


“The quality we had in that group of players was high in 1998 and it shows it’s very hard to qualify for a major tournament”.

Preview: Republic of Ireland vs. Germany