O’Neill: Germany are not invincible

Team of the Week – Matchday 12

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill says Germany are "not invincible" as he looks to inspire his charges to victory in Belfast on Thursday night.

The Green and Whites are currently on course for World Cup qualification, in second place in Group C with an impressive 19 points.

Germany, in first place, on 24 points were victorious in first round encounter between these two sides back in 2016.

Northern Ireland though are on a record breaking five match winning run, and have not lost a competitive home tie in four years.

And ahead of the eagerly anticipated match-up, O'Neill said: "Analysis is important because it's how it's interpreted – we've presented the Germans as a formidable opponent but not an invincible opponent.

"An opponent that on any given night, there's an opportunity for us to try and find a way to win the game and certainly the players believe that.

"I think Germany are the strongest team in Europe, arguably the world. The players they have coming into their squad seem to adapt to international football very quickly."

He continued: "People say, 'Go and attack', if we do that we would get beat.

"We would get beaten because they have better players. We have to be realistic.

"When Philipp Lahm retires at 32, they have another one coming along at 19, 20, that's the difference. They continue to have a succession line and are able to replace big, big players quite quickly. The new players have maybe freshened up the German squad.

"The biggest thing is to set a team up that's difficult to beat. Players believe they can win from that platform."