MX23RW : Saturday, December 14 04:42:22| >> :600:1815020:1815020:
Nov 19, 2019 at 7.45pm UK
Attendance: 42,855
Northern Ireland
Gnabry (19', 47', 60'), Goretzka (43', 73'), Brandt (91')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Smith (7')

Preview: Germany vs. Northern Ireland - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier between Germany and Northern Ireland, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Germany and Northern Ireland will round off their respective Group C campaigns with a clash at the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt on Tuesday night.

Joachim Low's side have already booked their spot at Euro 2020, while Northern Ireland will be in the playoffs as they bid to make it to the finals of the competition.

Match preview

Germany boss Joachim Low pictured on November 15, 2019© Reuters

A record of six wins from seven matches has left Germany top of Group C heading into their final match. Low's team have already booked their spot in next summer's finals, but a defeat against Northern Ireland would open the door for second-placed Netherlands to snatch first position in the group.

As a result, there is still plenty to play for on Tuesday, particularly considering that Holland are the overwhelming favourites to overcome fifth-placed Estonia on the same night.

Germany's only defeat in Group C came at home to Ronald Koeman's team back in June, while they will enter this match off the back of a 4-0 victory over Belarus on Saturday. DFB-Elf also ran out 2-0 winners when they travelled to Northern Ireland for the reverse game in September.

Low's side were disappointingly knocked out in the group stages of the 2018 World Cup, but they have reached the semi-finals in each of the last two European Championships. Not since Euro 1996 have the Germans won the competition, though, and it will be interesting to see how they perform next summer.

There are not actually that many goals in the squad overall, with Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos their leading scorer with 17. Timo Werner is next with 11, and there could well be a lot pressure on the RB Leipzig striker to score the goals next summer despite the presence of the excellent Serge Gnabry.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured on November 16, 2019© Reuters

Northern Ireland's hopes of qualifying automatically for next summer's finals ended on Saturday when they drew 0-0 with Holland in Belfast. Steven Davis had a huge chance to send the home team ahead in the first period, but the captain blazed a penalty over the crossbar.

There is a chance that Michael O'Neill has taken charge of his final home match as the head coach will leave after the playoffs having agreed to become Stoke City's new boss.

Northern Ireland beat Belarus and Estonia home and away in their first four matches to top the group with 12 points. Back-to-back defeats to Germany and the Netherlands followed, but as mentioned, O'Neill's side picked up a point against second-placed Holland on Saturday night.

It is the playoffs for the Green and White Army regardless of what happens in this match, and it will be fascinating to see whether they can qualify for a second successive European Championships.

Indeed, the nation were present at Euro 2016 and actually reached the last-16 stage of the tournament before losing to Wales, who went on to reach the semi-finals during an impressive showing.

Germany form: WLWDWW

Northern Ireland form: WWWLLD

Team News

Matthias Ginter pictured after scoring for Germany on November 16, 2019© Reuters

Low has no injury concerns from the side that faced Belarus on Saturday, and it would not be a surprise to see the same XI sent onto the field.

Werner is again expected to join Gnabry in the final third of the field, with Kroos lining up alongside Ilkay Gundogan and Joshua Kimmich in the middle of the park.

Niklas Stark is the only uncapped player in the squad, but Robin Koch only made his second appearance against Belarus, while Lukas Klostermann has just seven international outings to his name.

Kai Havertz and Marco Reus are both unavailable for Low having withdrawn from the squad due to injury.

As for Northern Ireland, Hull City attacker Josh Magennis is once again expected to lead the line with support from George Saville and Gavin Whyte in the wide areas.

Jonny Evans has been outstanding for Leicester City this season and will start in central defence, with Craig Cathcart, Stuart Dallas and Jamal Lewis making up a familiar-looking back four.

Corry Evans should also keep his spot in the middle of the park, although Aberdeen midfielder Niall McGinn provides an option for potential change.

Germany possible starting lineup: Neuer; Klostermann, Ginter, Koch, Schulz; Kroos, Kimmich, Gundogan; Werner, Gnabry, Goretzka

Northern Ireland possible starting lineup: Peacock-Farrell; Dallas, Cathcart, J Evans, Lewis; S Davis, C Evans; Saville, McNair, Whyte; Magennis

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We say: Germany 2-0 Northern Ireland

The fact that Germany have not yet secured first position in the group makes this a bigger match than it perhaps might have been. Northern Ireland are capable of making it an uncomfortable 90 minutes for the hosts, but we are finding it difficult to back against Low's team on the night.

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Who will win Tuesday's Euro 2020 qualifier between Germany and Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill on October 10, 2019
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