Hello everyone! Our coverage of the Euro 2016
qualifiers continues this afternoon with a vital clash in Tbilisi. Will it be Germany
who take all the points, or can Georgia
cause a major upset against the World Champions?
Since winning the World Cup last summer, Germany haven't quite found their best form and they currently sit second in Group D behind Poland. A draw against Australia in midweek did little to silence their doubters and Joachim Loew
will be looking for a response from his players today.
Even if Germany aren't play at their brilliant best, you would still expect them to claim a victory against their opponents this afternoon. The Georgians have lost three of their four qualifiers in Group D, with their only victory coming against whipping boys Gibraltar last October.
GEORGIA XI: Loria, Lobzhanidze, Kvirkvelia, Kashia, Amisulashvili, Navalovski, Makharadze, Kankava, Okriashvili, Kobakhidze, Mchedlidze
GERMANY XI: Neuer, Rudy, Boateng, Hummels, Hector, Schweinsteige, Kroos, Muller, Ozil, Reus, Gotze
So, that's how the two teams will line up for today's match. Germany welcome back a number of key players, with Manuel Neuer
, Mats Hummels
, Bastian Schweinsteiger
, Toni Kroos
and Thomas Muller
among those who return to the starting XI. As for Georgia, their main threat of a goal will be in Empoli striker Levan Mchedlidze
, who has scored just twice for his country.
You would hardly say that Germany are in any real trouble of qualifying for Euro 2016, but they haven't dominated Group D as many were expecting. They scraped past Scotland in their opening match, before falling to a shock 2-0 defeat in Poland on their next outing.
A few days after that setback in Warsaw, it seemed as if they would bounce back with a victory over the Republic of Ireland, but a goal deep into stoppage time from John O'Shea
saw that match end in a 1-1 draw. They did get back to winning ways with a 4-0 dismissal of Gibraltar, but the media still criticised them for not scoring enough goals.
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They were certainly far from their best in midweek, as they came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Australia in Kaiserslautern. They did choose to leave a number of key players on the bench for that match, with the likes of Manuel Neuer
and Toni Kroos
back for today's clash.
As you would probably expect, Georgia don't have the best record against Germany. In all of their previous three meetings, it is the Mannschaft who have come out on top. Their most current meeting was a friendly in October 2006, where goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger
and Michael Ballack
gave the Germans a comfortable 2-0 victory.
Right, we've just heard the national anthems and we are now just two minutes away from the start of the match. There are a couple of other matches taking place from Group D today, with Scotland's clash against Gibraltar also kicking off at 5pm.
KICKOFF! We are underway at the Boris Paichadze Dinamo Arena!
We're barely two minutes into this match, but it looks like Georgia are going to have to make an early change as centre back Amisulashvili limps off the pitch. That's far from ideal for the hosts and the worst possible start against the World Champions.
SUBSTITUTION: Georgia do make the change, with Dvali coming on to replace the injured Amisulashvili.
OFF THE BAR! Germany have made a really bright start here and they come within inches of making the breakthrough. A brilliant team moves sees Muller slip the ball through to Reus, who then fires in a powerful strike that crashes back off the bar. It looked like Loria got a slight touch the ball making that a fine save from the keeper.
It's all Germany in the early stages of this match and they are camped inside their opponents' half of the pitch. Georgia are being pushed back so deep here, with the visitors quickly passing the ball around between their midfielders as they look for an opening.
The hosts are enjoying their first real spell of possession in the match and they are able to get a number of players forward. They also have a good chance to threaten from a free kick, but Germany easy clear and shortly afterwards Kankava fires in a long-range strike which deflects kindly through to Neuer.
CHANCE! The visitors come close again when a corner from Kroos is played low across the box and Muller arrives in the centre of the box to guide it just wide of the far post. The Bayern man scuffed the shot slightly, but it wasn't too far away from being the opening goal.
Whenever Georgia get on the ball the crowd are making plenty of noise and this can't be an easy atmosphere for any visiting team. They are winning some free kicks in promising areas too and this time Okriashvili whips a decent delivery into the box that Kankava is inches away from meeting at the front post.
UPDATE: There's been a goal at Hampden Park and rather unsurprisingly Scotland have taken the lead against Gibraltar. A win for the Scots would lift them up to 10 points and level with group leaders Poland, while as things stand Germany would be down to third.
UPDATE: Well, this wasn't in the script. There's been another goal in Glasgow and Kyle Casciaro has levelled for Gibraltar. That's a huge goal in the group and one that I don't think many people saw coming.
Back to the action in Tbilisi and it's still Germany who are pushing for the opening goal. They are certainly enjoying all of the possession, but the hosts have held a good line at the back and have defended well so far.
CHANCE! The Germans waste another decent chance to take the lead. Rudy exchanges passes with Muller and gets in down the right, before pulling the ball back to Gotze. The Bayern man then looks to slot the ball in at the front post, but his effort goes just wide of the target.
CHANCE! Once again the visitors create another wonderful opening that they fail to take. Some of their football has been brilliant and another flowing move ends with Reus firing a strike just wide of the post.
YELLOW CARD! Makharadze is the first player to be shown a booking for bringing down Muller.
SHOT! From the resulting free kick that Makharadze had just given away, Kroos whips a cross into the box and Muller rises highest to meet it, before directing his header onto the roof of the net.
UPDATE: There's been more goals at Hampden Park and it's Scotland who have found the net twice to retake their lead. A strike from Steven Fletcher and a penalty from Shaun Maloney means that they are 3-1 up and a shock result is looking very unlikely now.
GOAL! Georgia 0-1 Germany (Marco Reus)
You can't say that this hasn't been coming! Germany finally break the deadlock when Gotze wriggles past a couple of challenges inside the box, before he is tackled by the Georgian defence. However, the ball lands perfectly at the feet of Reus, who has the simple task of sliding the ball past Loria to break the visitors' stubborn resistance.
SAVE! Reus almost grabs his second goal of the match when he picks the ball up in space and charges towards the box. He is not closed down and looks to fire a strike into the top corner, but Loria gets across to tip the ball brilliantly over the bar.
GOAL! Georgia 0-2 Germany (Thomas Muller)
Having been frustrated for long periods in this first half, the Germans will now head into the break with a two-goal lead. Once again there's a slice of fortune about the goal, as Ozil's pass into Muller on the edge of the box isn't cleared properly by the hosts and the Bayern man takes full advantage to fire the loose ball into the bottom corner.
We are going to have three minutes added on to the end of the first half.
SAVE! Germany are sensing blood here and Ozil whips in a curling strike from just outside the box that forces Loria to palm the ball behind for a corner.
HALF-TIME: Georgia 0-2 Germany
We've reached half time in Tbilisi and as expected Germany are heading towards the three points. It took them a while, but Marco Reus
and Thomas Muller scored in the final six minutes of the opening period to break Georgia's stubborn resistance and you've really got to fear for the hosts now.
Right, let's take a quick look at the statistics from the first 45 minutes. Georgia may be slightly ahead in the in possession stakes, but it's Germany who have dominated in every other aspect of the game. They have had 11 shots on goal, with seven of those finding the target, while the hosts have failed to register a single attempt.
Germany now look set to join Poland at the top of Group D on 10 points and with Scotland also heading towards a win today, it is starting to look like a real battle to make the Euros. There could be further drama in tonight's final group match, as the Republic of Ireland welcome Poland to the Aviva Stadium.
Germany take the kick off and get us back underway in Tbilisi.
SUBSTITUTION: Georgia have made a change at the break, with Chanturia coming on for Okriashvili.
We haven't seen too much action since the break, but it's all so easy for Germany at the moment. They are being allowed to play the ball out of their defence under no pressure from their opponents. If it continues this way, then surely there will be two or three more goals in this for them.
SHOT! This is about as close as Georgia have come to scoring all evening. Lobjanidze makes a good run to the back post to meet a deep cross and he look to steer a volley past Neuer, but he gets completely underneath the strike and ends up hammering the ball well over the bar.
Georgia have started to see more of the ball in the German half over the past few minutes, with substitute Chanturia showing some very neat touches. They don't look like scoring, but the crowd are still giving a great deal of support to their team.
OFF THE BAR! For the second time this evening, Reus is denied by the woodwork! He is picked out by Rudy in acres of space just inside the box and looks to guide an effort into the top corner, but his strike smacks against the bar and rebounds to safety.
SUBSTITUTION: The hosts make their third and final sub of the match, with Kenia taking the place of Makharadze.
Georgia have won a number of corners since the break, but on each occasion the visitors have dealt with their threat. The German defence just don't look like being exposed today and Neuer has not even had a shot on target to deal with.
The visitors haven't quite been at their best since half time, but the interchange between their front players has still been as impressive. Those two goals just before the break has allowed them to ease up slightly and take their foot of the gas, but you feel that they can turn on the style if they need too.
Germany spring into life and Reus manages to break free down the left. He gets to the byline and flashes a low ball across the box, but it is just beyond the reach of Muller at the back post and Georgia are able to clear to safety.
SHOT! The visitors are given another chance to put their opponents under pressure when Reus is fouled just outside the box. The Dortmund winger then steps up to take the resulting set piece, but his curling effort lacks enough power to beat Loria, who easily holds on.
YELLOW CARDS! In the aftermath of that free kick there was a clash between Schweinsteiger and Kankava inside the box. They both seemed to clash heads, but the referee was quickly over the diffuse the situation and he subsequently books each player.
CHANCE! The hosts have barely threatened, but they very nearly pull a goal back when a corner is whipped in to the front post and Schweinsteiger slices his clearance inches wide of the target.
SHOT! Down the other end of the pitch the Germans are back on the attack and Ozil fancies his chances from around 25 yards out. He lines up the strike and fires one towards the bottom corner, but the ball swings a few inches wide of the post.
YELLOW CARD! Chanturia is the third Georgian player to be shown a card tonight for a crunching tackle on Hector.
SUBSTITUTION: With just four minutes of the match left Germany are going to make their first change, as Schurrle comes on for Muller.
SUBSTITUTION: It's another change for the Germans, with Podolski on to replace Gotze.
A third goal is looking unlikely now, with Germany just popping the ball around comfortably between their midfield and defence. It has been a fine display from the world champions, who have shown glimpses of their best, without ever really being stretched by their opponents.
We are going to have three minutes of stoppage time.
FULL-TIME: Georgia 0-2 Germany
The whistle blows for the end of the match and Germany have claimed the three points in Tbilisi. It was relatively straightforward for the world champions, who killed the match with two goals just before half time. They are now joint with Poland and Scotland at the top of Group D on 10 points, although that could all change later when the Poles face Ireland.
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That's all we've got time for here. There's plenty more live coverage to come this evening, so make sure you stick with us! I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend. Goodbye!