Germany looking to finish with two victories, says Joachim Löw
Coach of world champions admits game against Republic of Ireland will not be easy
Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus (right) has returned to the Germany squad following injury. Photograph: Getty Images.
Euro 2016 qualification - Group D
Republic of Ireland v Germany
Aviva Stadium, Thursday, 7.45pm
Germany coach Joachim Löw says that he and his team are targeting six points from their last two European Championship games but he insists that the World Cup winners are taking nothing for granted ahead of their visit to Dublin.
“We want to take qualification seriously and stay concentrated until the end,” said Löw as he named a squad on Friday that includes Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, who withdrew from last month’s squad with a toe injury and, for the first time, Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Löw added: “Our aim is to win both games against Ireland and Georgia so we can qualify for the European Championship in France as group winners.
“I have great faith in the players, who did a brilliant job back in September (when the Germans beat both Poland and Scotland). These players are constantly challenged with their clubs in both the league and in Europe, they are in a good rhythm. It’s a great time to go into these decisive group games.”
The Germans need just one point to be sure of a place at the finals in France next summer and, with Georgia due in Leipzig three days after the Ireland game, it looks to be just a question of how comfortably they qualify and whether they top the table.
“We can expect an incredible atmosphere, the Irish fans will get right behind their team and fire them on until the final whistle. We need to keep a cool head and be patient in order to win there.
“But if we play to our potential and concentrate on our qualities, we will create chances. I’m excited for the game and the atmosphere in Dublin.”
GERMAN SQUAD: Neuer (Bayern Munich), Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Ter Stegen (Barcelona); Boateng (Bayern Munich), Can (Liverpool), Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Hector (Cologne), Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Mustafi (Valencia), Rudy (Hoffenheim); Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen), Gotze (Bayern Munich), Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Kramer (Bayer Leverkusen), Kroos (Real Madrid), Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg), Muller (Bayern Munich), Ozil (Arsenal), Podolski (Galatasaray), Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Schurrle (VfL Wolfsburg), Schweinsteiger (Manchester Utd), Volland (Hoffenheim).