Under the guidance of caretaker boss Noel King, the Republic of Ireland face a daunting trip to Germany, who need just a point to earn their place in Brazil for next summer.
Following defeats to Sweden and Austria in September which effectively ended their chances of making the play-offs, Giovanni Trapattoni was relieved of his duties, and King remains in temporary charge while the search for a new manager continues, with Martin O’Neill the overwhelming favourite to get the job.
Despite second place still being mathematically achievable, it would take a miracle for all of the results to go Ireland’s way. Despite that, King is likely to try and keep things tight at the back, with Richard Dunne’s return adding experience to the backline.
Germany are currently in excellent form. They sailed to victory over Austria and the Faroe Islands in September, virtually assuring their World Cup place, and last year inflicted a humiliating 6-1 defeat upon Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Joachim Low’s side have won seven out of their eight qualifiers, with the only blemish coming at home to Sweden.
All-time record scorer Robbie Keane is expected to play despite suffering a knock during the week, but Hull City’s Robbie Brady is not with the squad as he recovers from a hernia operation.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Germany