UEFA European Under-21 Championships Qualifier Preview: Republic of Ireland -v- GermanyTue, Sep 11 2018
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Republic of Ireland under-21s have a chance to leapfrog Germany into top spot in Group 5 with victory in their crucial Euro 2019 qualifier at Tallaght Stadium (kick-off 6pm).
Noel King’s side come into this game following a hard fought 1-1 draw away to Kosovo on Friday with the in-form Ronan Curtis scoring Ireland’s goal.
Curtis has had a very strong start to the season with League One side Portsmouth and as a result of his recent form has been called up to the senior set up by Martin O’Neill for tonight’s friendly in Poland.
Derry City's Ronan and Rory Hale are both included the squad following their impressive displays in the game against Iceland in March.
Dundalk midfielder Jamie McGrath has been rewarded for the strong and consistent season he is having with a first U21 call up for tonight’s crucial qualifier.
Ireland currently sit second in the group and trail Germany by just two points ahead of tonight’s clash.
A win for Ireland tonight would see them leapfrog the Germans into first place with just two games remaining in the group.
The group winners will all qualify for the tournament with the four best runners up from nine groups will enter a playoff for the final two remaining places.
"The players are really looking forward to the week ahead and the squad are excited about the fixtures," King said ahead of the game.
"They've got themselves into a great position going into the games and they'll look to secure more crucial points in this game."
Germany come into this game with a hugely impressive qualifier record having won nineteen of their last 21 qualifiers.
Their stats throughout the group so far make for impressive reading also having scored 21 goals in seven qualifiers and conceded just six at the other end.
A win for them this evening would put them five points clear of second-placed Ireland and should be enough to see them top the group as winners.
“We used the training times intensively to get to know the new players,” German head coach Stefan Kuntz told the national website.
“All of the players we have used so far have played well and now we are faced with the difficult decision of who plays and who doesn’t.”
These two Under-21 sides meet for the ninth time. In the previous eight meetings there have been four wins for Germany and four draws.
The German U-21 side have won 19 of their last 21 games in the European Qualifiers with the recent draw two Kosovo and a rare defeat to Norway last year making up the last twenty one.
Ireland can leapfrog Germany at the top of the table with a victory tonight with just two games remaining after tonight’s fixture.
Republic of Ireland 5/1; Draw 7/2; Germany 3/10
Republic of Ireland 1 – 2 Germany
Republic of Ireland
Injured: Shaun Donnellan, Olamide Shodipo, Connor Dimaio.
Suspended: Ronan Curtis, Ryan Sweeney.