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October 11, 2013 2:45 PM EDT
RheinEnergieStadion — Köln
Referee:‬ S. Gumienny‎
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12′ Sami Khedira
90+1′ Mesut Özil

World Cup Qualifying Preview: Germany - Republic of Ireland

Germany will earn automatic FIFA World Cup qualification with a game to spare if it beat the managerless Republic of Ireland on Friday.

By Holly Gillett


Germany will  cement a place in the 2014 World Cup with a game to spare if it beats the Republic of Ireland on Friday.

Joachim Low’s men top Group C of the European qualification section, five points ahead of second-placed Sweden with just two games to go, and have not lost to Ireland -- whose manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, left last month -- since 1994.

However, the group leader is without a number of players for the encounter at the Rhein Energie Stadion, with Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and Marco Reus among the regular squad members missing through injury.

Trapattoni's departure after five years in charge of the Irish came after the country's 1-0 defeat to Austria on Sept. 10, which all but ended its hopes of making the playoff round.

Caretaker boss Noel King will want to finish the qualifiers on a high against Germany and Kazakhstan, as doing so could help the nation move above Austria into third and improve its coefficient ranking for future campaigns.

History is not on the visitors' side, though, as Germany won the last meeting between the teams in Dublin last October 6-1 and has lost just twice in eight games against Ireland overall. 

Forward Jonathan Walters and goalkeeper Kieren Westwood are both unavailable for King through injury, although captain and LA Galaxy standout Robbie Keane, who has 60 goals for his country, is in line to win his 130th cap in Cologne.

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WCQ 2014 (UEFA) ‎(WCQE)‎ Oct 11, 2013 Germany 3 - Ireland Republic 0
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WCQ 2014 (UEFA) ‎(WCQE)‎ Oct 12, 2012 Ireland Republic 1 - Germany 6
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European Championship Qualification 2012 ‎(EC)‎ Oct 13, 2007 Ireland Republic 0 - Germany 0
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European Championship Qualification 2012 ‎(EC)‎ Sep 2, 2006 Germany 1 - Ireland Republic 0
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1Manuel NeuerGoalkeeper
2Marcell JansenDefender
16Philipp LahmDefender
17Per MertesackerDefender
20Jerome BoatengDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
7Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
8Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
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9Andre SchürrleMidfielder
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22René AdlerGoalkeeper
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5Mats HummelsDefender
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12Stephen KellyDefender
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15Darron GibsonMidfielder
9Kevin DoyleStriker
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7Aiden McGeadyMidfielder
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19Shane LongStriker
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Group A Matchday 10
Times In EDT
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Man United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
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10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris St. Germain (PSG)
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Real Madrid
8 0