Just a tie. That is what Germany needs on Thursday 5 October against Northern Ireland at Windsor Park in Belfast to mathematically confirm their qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The match, which kicks off scheduled for 15:45 (Brasília time), is part of the schedule of the ninth (penultimate) round of the European qualifiers.
The recent performance of Northern Ireland
With much more limited technical resources and no tradition that can be compared to the history of the Germans, not even the most optimistic North Irish should dream of being able to win first place in Group C. This is the only position that guarantees a place in the World Cup Russian.
The Germans lead Group C with five points clear. To overtake them, Northern Ireland need not only win their remaining two matches, which would take them to 25 points, such as hoping for Germany to be beaten by Azerbaijan in the final round.
Thus, the Irish must even settle for second place and the right to advance to the recap. This is already guaranteed. The Azerbaijan team, which is in third place, has nine points to the same as Northern Ireland and can not reach the second can.
That makes the game against Germany on Thursday and the match against Norway, away from home, on the final day, a preparatory stage for the recap.
The current form of Germany
Four-time world champions, the Germans have the best campaign in the European qualifiers. They won all eight matches they played. Positive numbers do not stop there. With 35 goals scored, Germany have the best attack in comparison to the 54 teams that compete for the 2018 World Cup. It divides the leadership of this issue with Belgium.
The spectacular campaign also extends to the defensive sector. With two goals conceded, the Germans bear the title of defense less leaked of the qualifiers. Thus, the need for a two-game draw is not a difficult task.
Therefore, not even the absences of Ozil and Khedira socks should be felt. The Arsenal and Juventus athletes, respectively, were left out of coach Joachim Low’s list due to injuries.
History of the clashes between Northern Ireland and Germany
The Germans won 16 of their 22 matches against Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish won only twice and four matches were recorded. In the first round of the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Germany scored 2-0.
Quotes delayed, except where indicated otherwise.
Northern Ireland is campaigning far above expectations. He has won the last four games without a single goal and reaches the remaining two rounds in a much better situation than one would have expected before the ball rolled in the European qualifiers. That will possibly make the team play without great responsibility before the Germans, although this should not mean a more offensive stance.