If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Tardelli targets shock victory
Marco Tardelli insists the Republic of Ireland will set out determined to beat Germany to boost their hopes of World Cup qualification.
Giovanni Trapattoni's injury-hit side could well be forgiven for heading into Friday night's showdown at the Aviva Stadium intent only on making life difficult for Joachim Low's side and emerging unbeaten with a valuable Group C point.
However, despite the difficulties the Republic face as they prepare to take on the team currently in second place in FIFA's world rankings, assistant manager Tardelli said: "We will try to win, it's normal for us. If we can win against Germany, it will be important for the team and for the country."
He added: "The Germans are a strong team, they are very quick and they play very well with their wingers because they cut in with their strikers. We know that Germany is a very good team and we have many problems, but we need to believe it's possible to play against all teams."
Low has been hit by the withdrawals of Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Lars Bender from the squad he initially named with Julian Draxler unavailable for selection because of a broken arm.
However, Trapattoni's problems are even more severe with Richard Dunne, Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, James McClean and Kevin Doyle out and Shay Given and Damien Duff having announced their retirements from international football.
The 73-year-old Italian has little choice but to reshuffle his personnel, but Tardelli also confirmed what the manager had previously hinted at, that he will field a three-man midfield against the Germans, something he was likely to have done even if stalwart Whelan had been fit.
Keith Andrews seems certain to return from the suspension which kept him out of the 2-1 win in Kazakhstan last month and Wigan's James McCarthy is one of the men Trapattoni has touted as part of a new generation of players in the wake of the disappointment at the Euro 2012 finals.
That would appear to leave Keith Fahey and David Meyler competing for the remaining berth, although Tardelli was giving little away.
He said: "I don't know, we need to wait. We have two days to decide and during training, we will take the decision. Fahey has good experience and for Meyler, it is very early because it's a very tough match and we need experienced players."