Germany can cement their place at the 2018 World Cup if they can avoid defeat against Northern Ireland in Belfast on Thursday.
The reigning world champions are currently five points clear at the top of Group C with two games to go and a positive result against Michael O'Neill's men will ensure they will be in Russia to mount a defence of their title next year.
Northern Ireland are already assured of second place in the group and, as they strive to guarantee their place in the play-offs, they will be hoping to record a historic win against Joachim Low's side, a result which would stall German celebrations.
|Game||Northern Ireland vs Germany|
|Date||Thursday, October 5|
|Time||19:45 BST / 14:45 ET|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the game will be available to watch live on television on Sky Sports Football, as well as being available to stream live using Sky Go.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|Sky Sports Football||Sky Go|
In the US, viewers can watch the game live on television on the Spanish language channel UniMas and it will also be available to stream online using Fox Soccer Match Pass, Fox Sports GO and Univision NOW.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|UniMas||Fox Soccer Match Pass / Fox Sports GO|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Northern Ireland players|
|Goalkeepers||Carroll, McGovern, Mannus|
|Defenders||Hughes, McAuley, J. Evans, Brunt, McLaughlin, Hodson, D. Lafferty, Thompson, Flanagan|
|Midfielders||Davis, McGinn, Norwood, C. Evans, Ferguson, Dallas, Paton, Lund, Jones, Saville|
|Forwards||K. Lafferty, Magennis, Washington, McCartan|
Northern Ireland are boosted by the return of West Brom defender Gareth McAuley, who missed the last few international cycles through injury. However, O'Neill is still unable to call upon the likes of Paddy McNair, Craig Cathcart, Liam Boyce and Jamie Ward, who are recovering from long-term problems.
George Saville and Jordan Jones are in the squad for the first time and could possibly earn their maiden caps against the world champions.
Potential starting XI: McGovern; Brunt, Evans, McAuley, McLaughlin; Davis, Norwood, C. Evans, Dallas; Magennis, K. Lafferty.
|Goalkeepers||Trapp, Leno, Ter Stegen|
|Defenders||Mustafi, Plattenhardt, Ginter, Hummels, Sule, Rudiger, Boateng, Kimmich|
|Midfielders||Draxler, Kroos, Can, Younes, Goretzka, Brandt, Rudy, Sane|
|Forwards||Wagner, Stindl, Muller|
Germany are without Mesut Ozil for the game and Sami Khedira, who scored in the corresponding fixture last year, also misses out. Mario Gotze has also missed the cut, while Timo Werner has pulled out of the squad due to a neck injury.
Manuel Neuer is out injured, meaning that one of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp or Bernd Leno will deputise, but Jerome Boateng is available for selection again.
Potential starting XI: Ter Stegen; Mustafi, Hummels, Boateng; Kimmich, Kroos, Rudy, Draxler, Sane; Muller, Stindl.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Germany are 2/7 favourites to win according to dabblebet, with Northern Ireland priced at 10/1 to beat the world champions. A draw between the teams at Windsor Park is considered a 17/4 bet.
Germany won 2-0 when the teams met in Hanover last October and you can get odds of 9/2 on the same result occurring in Belfast.
Germany are one of just two teams who can claim to have an immaculate record in the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The world champions have galloped to the top of their group, tallying eight wins from eight games and, out of all the teams involved in qualification, only Switzerland have managed to do the same.
Having cruised to Confederations Cup glory during the summer with a second-string squad, Joachim Low subsequently stressed his desire to secure World Cup qualification with games to spare so that preparations can begin early for next summer's tournament in Russia and his team can deliver that wish by simply avoiding defeat against Northern Ireland.
Germany came out on top when the teams met at the Niedersachsenstadion last October, with Julian Draxler and Sami Khedira scoring the goals in a 2-0 victory - the only goals conceded by O'Neill's men in the campaign. Interestingly, however, five of those who started that game for Germany, including Khedira, are now unavailable.
Low has been forced to contend with a series of injury blows to major stars during the course of the last year, but, despite those woes, he has guided his team through qualification without fuss. With a place at the World Cup nearly secured, he must utilise the depth of talent at his disposal once again in order to overcome Northern Ireland.
With the final game of the group coming at home to Azerbaijan, the Germany boss will hope to use that fixture to assess what the fringe players have to offer and if any, such as Leon Goretzka and Leroy Sane, can force their way into the reckoning ahead of seasoned campaigners.