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Sunday 17 December 2017

North's tough task

 

Michael O'Neill. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
Michael O'Neill. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Germany may never have lost an away World Cup qualifier in their history, but Michael O'Neill has told his Northern Ireland players the world champions are "formidable but not invincible" ahead of tonight's clash in Belfast.

'Die Mannschaft' boast a phenomenal record in the preliminaries for the global tournament having lost only two of the 92 games - against Portugal in 1985 and against England in 2001, both in Germany - and they have arrived in Belfast on the back of 12 successive World Cup qualification wins away from home.

"Analysis is important because it's how it's interpreted - we've presented the Germans as a formidable opponent but not an invincible opponent," he said. "An opponent that on any given night, there's an opportunity for us to try and find a way to win the game and certainly the players believe that.

"I think Germany are the strongest team in Europe, arguably the world. We're under no illusion, we're not going to come in and suddenly have 60 per cent of the ball, there's no point preparing as if we are. It will need a massive performance and some fine individual moments to win the game."

N Ireland v Germany

Live Sky Sp Football, 7.45

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