Germans hope to extend Group A advantage
Joachim Low's men have won all five of their Group A encounters so far, to establish a five-point lead over Belgium at the summit. A trip to Vienna is unlikely to pose too many problems for the Germans but captain Philipp Lahm is adamant his team-mates will not underestimate their hosts.
"Games against Austria are always explosive as there is a special rivalry," Bayern Munich full-back Lahm said today. "There are many Austrians who play with us in the Bundesliga and have great quality."
Lahm knows the significance of a win, though. "We look forward to this important game," he added. "With a win, we can take a big step [towards qualification]." Germany will make a late decision on the availability of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, who has been struggling with a thigh injury.
Austria midfielder Paul Scharner has brushed aside thoughts of qualification and is instead focused on upsetting the FIFA World Cup™ semi-finalists. He said: "Currently, we don't even think about our chances of qualifying for the finals. All we live for are the two games against Germany."
Captain Marc Janko added: "We have prepared very intensively for this difficult match. We are the rank outsiders and have nothing to lose but we want to irritate Germany and maybe that will be good enough for a draw or a success."
Belgium hoping for play-off spot
Belgium meet a Turkey side one place and one point worse off in Brussels. And Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet knows a win would put his side in pole position to secure a qualification play-off spot.
He told the Sunderland Echo: "We've got quite a lot of talent in [Vincent] Kompany, [Thomas] Vermaelen and [Moussa] Dembele - there's quite a few playing in England.
"Hopefully we can qualify again for a big tournament. We haven't done it for ten years. There are young players as well - we can be a strong team in the next couple of years. Germany are too far ahead of us and they're the best team in the group so we have to focus on second place. Turkey is such an important game now."