2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Germany vs Ireland - Preview
Cologne (Germany): Coach Joachim Loew has said he wants Germany to be "greedy" against the Republic of Ireland in Friday`s World Cup qualifier to finally secure their Brazil 2014 berth.
"We`re greedy, we want to win the game before a home crowd and secure our qualification," said Loew ahead of the Cologne international.
"I have fond memories of the compact Cologne stadium and we want to qualify as group winners without questions or discussions.
"I have a good feeling about Friday."
Germany are five points clear in Group C, needing just a point in Cologne to guarantee their place at next June`s World Cup and Loew`s side thrashed the Irish 6-1 in Dublin in last October`s qualifier.
Ireland are fourth in the group under caretaker manager Noel King after Italian great Giovanni Trapattoni`s resignation last month after his side`s qualification hopes went up in flames.
Republic captain Robbie Keane is an injury concern after the veteran striker missed the final training session before the squad flew to Cologne and had a scan on his ankle injury.
The Germans are eager to wrap up their qualification at home ahead of Tuesday`s final qualifier away to Sweden in Stockholm and Loew has said he expects a tough match against the Irish.
"The Irish are defensively compact and play with a physical presence," said Loew.
"It`s in their nature, they defend incredibly well and get back quickly.
"It does not matter which coach is sitting on the bench and what players are on the pitch, the Irish are always difficult to play."
Germany will be without injured winger Marco Reus and striker Miroslav Klose, who scored three of the six goals in Dublin between them.
Untested 25-year-old Max Kruse of Borussia Moenchengladbach is set to make only his sixth appearance as a lone striker and Loew has already ruled out using Bayern Munich`s right winger Thomas Mueller up front.
"Kruse isn`t just the type of player who gets forward into the penalty area, but also drops back and gets into gaps. I`m pleased to have him in the squad," said Loew.
Loew has also said Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Goetze is set for a cameo off the bench, having only just returned from injury.
Captain Philipp Lahm will remain at right-back, despite having been switched to defensive midfield by Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
Loew`s side will not be far from full strength, with only striker Klose and winger Reus missing through injury, while Hamburg defender Marcel Jansen is likely to fill the problematic left-back berth.
With Dortmund`s Reus out due to an ankle injury, either Chelsea`s Andre Schuerrle or Schalke teenager Julian Draxler is set to take over on the right wing.
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