TORSHAVN, Faeroe Islands (AP) — Germany aims to make qualification for its 16th successive World Cup appearance a mere formality with a victory over the Faeroe Islands on Tuesday.
The Germans lead Group C by five points and can qualify with two games to spare with a victory at Torsvolli Stadium if second-place Sweden fails to win at Kazakhstan.
Joachim Loew is confident his side will fulfill its obligations, though suggested Monday that the game will not be the walkover many are predicting.
"For a small country, they really can defend very well, and they're very well organized," Loew said, referring to his side's 3-0 win from the home game in Hannover.
"We'll go into this game in all seriousness and with full concentration. Other teams have struggled here, like Sweden (who fought from a goal down to win 2-1) and Ireland, who took a long time to score. Italy only won 1-0 here (in 2011)," Loew said.
"What interests me is that we take the three points, and that's what we'll do."
Austria and Ireland are three points behind Sweden and both need to win their game in Vienna to maintain hope of finishing second and reaching the playoffs.
The Faeroese have lost all their games and anything other than defeat would be a huge surprise for the semi-professional team.
The islanders lost 2-1 in Kazakhstan on Friday in what was a battle between the group's bottom teams and the Kazakh's first win.
Faeroe Islands coach Lars Olsen said he is "optimistic as always." However, he acknowledged it is unrealistic for his side to win against "one of the top three teams in the world."
Olsen said the biggest problem facing his side is that many of his players work eight hours a day before team training at night.
"Should we improve the team, one solution could be to switch over to have some kind of professional football on the Faeroes," said Olsen, a former Denmark captain.
Defender Jonas Tor Naes is suspended for Germany's visit with two yellow cards.
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