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Germany vs Northern Ireland. FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C.

HDI-Arena.

Germany 2

  • J Draxler (13th minute)
  • S Khedira (17th minute)

Northern Ireland 0

    Germany v N Ireland preview: Will Grigg missing for crunch game

    Northern Ireland's Will Grigg celebrates
    Image: Northern Ireland's Will Grigg will miss the crunch game in Germany

    Will Grigg will miss Northern Ireland's World Cup Qualifier away to Germany because his partner recently gave birth.

    The 25-year-old became a cult figure at Euro 2016 with Northern Ireland fans' infectious "Will Grigg's On Fire (your defence is terrified)" chant, despite the fact he did not play a minute of the campaign.

    Live International Football: FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers

    He has since scored six goals in 11 appearances for Wigan this season, but is unavailable to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.

    "It's a blow for Will," said O'Neill. "He's been on the scoresheet, but I had a good chat with him and he didn't feel being here was right."

    Grigg also sat out Saturday's 4-0 win over minnows San Marino in Belfast when Kyle Lafferty came off the bench to score two late goals.

    Highlights of Northern Ireland's 4-0 win over San Marino from World Cup Qualifying Group C.

    Germany beat the Northern Irish 1-0 in their Euro 2016 group match in June and coach Joachim Low expects another hard-fought match, which you can see live on Sky Sports 1.

    "The team is passionate, the players have a big heart," said Low. "A large part of their Euro 2016 squad will also be in Hanover, so we know what to expect."

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    Germany are top of the World Cup qualifying Group C while Northern Ireland are third after two matches.

    Team news

    In Grigg's absence, Lafferty of Norwich City, Conor Washington of Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United's Stuart Dallas will be vying to start up front.

    For Germany, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is expected to start having made his first international appearance for nearly a year, following injury, against Czech Republic.

    Jerome Boateng and Jonas Hector, plus Julian Draxler, are fit despite picking up knocks in Saturday's 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in Hamburg.

    Michael O’Neill says there is still plenty for Northern Ireland can improve upon despite beating San Marino 4-0 in Group C.

    Opta stats

    Germany have won nine of their previous 15 matches against Northern Ireland (D2 L4).

    Northern Ireland's last win against Germany came back in November 1983 (1-0) courtesy of a goal from Norman Whiteside.

    That win in November 1983 is Northern Ireland's only win in Germany (D2 L3).

    The Green and White Army have scored just eight goals in their last 13 matches against Germany and never more than once in a game in this run.

    BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - OCTOBER 08: Kyle Lafferty of Northern Ireland celebrates after he scores during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between North
    Image: Kyle Lafferty of Northern Ireland celebrates

    Northern Ireland are unbeaten in their last five away matches (excl. neutral), although four have been draws (W1).

    Northern Ireland have conceded just three goals in their last nine internationals, including two successive clean sheets in this World Cup qualifying campaign.

    Lafferty has scored nine times in his last 11 qualifiers for Northern Ireland.

    Charlie Nicholas prediction

    Well I know they did well there last time they met there's less pressure on the Germans this time, with six points on the board following 3-0 wins over their supposed main rivals to win the group, Czech Republic and Norway. 

    I love watching different games on Match Choice because I don't always follow the Home Nations and there are games I wanted to see, such as how Spain's new system worked at Albania and how Germany are evolving.

    The bad news is they don't really need to change much, with Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos going boom, boom, boom. They're strong, they're quick, they're powerful.

    Northern Ireland are well-drilled but I just see how they can get through this one unscathed with so many threats to be wary of. Jonas Hector and Joshua Kimmich are virtually left and right wingers. They hardly ever defend and they are hitting the byline for fun.

    Charlie predicts: 2-0 and Muller to score first (9/1 with Sky Bet)

    Betting

    Northern Ireland are 20/1 with Sky Bet to cause a huge upset while Germany will be popular with accumulator punters with odds of 1/8 available. You can get 4/9 for the hosts to be winning at half-time and full-time.

    Thomas Muller celebrates after scoring against the Czech Republic
    Image: Thomas Muller celebrates after scoring against the Czech Republic

    Thomas Muller heads the first goalscorer betting at 5/2 after his double against Czech Republic on Saturday. If you fancy Muller and Mesut Ozil both to score, the you can get 100/30 for your money.

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