Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
Getty images Loew.
# World Cup 2014
Loew prepares for battle with neighbours Austria
Two of Ireland’s Group C opponents meet in Vienna tonight.

GERMANY MANAGER JOACHIM Loew expects Austria to provide a stern challenge in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Vienna.

Neighbours Germany and Austria, two teams Ireland must face in Group C, enjoy a strong rivalry, having last met in qualifying for Euro 2012.

Austria were outplayed in a 6-2 defeat in Germany, but were desperately unlucky to lose 2-1 on home soil as Germany forward Mario Gomez struck at the death.

“At home we’ve always beaten them fairly comfortably but here (in Vienna) we’ve always had some problems,” Loew said.

“Austria is a team which has learned a lot in the last years regarding their organisation, their structure. They play very brave and attacking football.

“You really do have the feeling before this match against us that the Austrians have become more self-confident over the last few months and they’ll go out there with a lot of motivation.”

Germany beat the Faroe Islands 3-0 in their Group C opener in Hannover on Friday.

“This tournament now, the qualification for the World Cup, there are 30 points maximum up for grabs,” Loew said.

It’s a marathon not a sprint, and it has just has started for us. We’ve won the first match as we should have done.

“Now we have to take it up a level in Vienna.”

Group C also includes Sweden and Kazakhstan.

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