Group C preview: Flick wary of minnow

Germany assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick has warned his players they should not take the Faroes Islands lightly when the two teams meet on Friday evening (Saturday morning AEST) in Hannover.

The EURO 2012 semi-finalist kick-starts its 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign with what should be a straightforward Group C fixture against a side traditionally seen as one of Europe's whipping boys.

However, the Faroe Islands proved its competitive edge during qualifying for EURO 2012 with a shock 2-0 victory over Estonia.

And Flick believes goals will not be easy to come by against the tiny Nordic nation.

"We need to pay our opponents respect," he said in a press conference.

"The Faroese are very compact and can give away few goals. Big results and wins against them have been scarce in recent years."

Germany is favourite to top a group which also contains Austria, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Kazakhstan.

Ireland was also in action in Poland and Ukraine over the northern summer, although failed to get past the group stage.

It takes on Kazakhstan on Friday afternoon (Saturday morning AEST), a team which has struggled to make an impact on world football since gaining its independence 21 years ago.

Kazakhstan is ranked 116 places below Giovanni Trapattoni's team in the FIFA ladder, but captain Kairat Nurdauletov is determined it will give a good account of itself in Astana.

"We would like to win (against the Irish)," he said. "Only a victory will do. We wouldn't accept a draw.

"Our preparation went well. We have been preparing specifically for the Irish team.

"We feel very good. We want to prove that our football is improving and developing."

Republic of Ireland is also determined to make a winning start, however, and striker Jon Walters sees no reason why it cannot take maximum points against Kazakhstan.

"These are the games you want to win," he said.

"I don't think any match at international level is easy but hopefully we will go there and get the result that we need because it's not an easy group.

"It was good to be there at the Euros, but we didn't do well and that left us with a sour taste in the mouth.

"Once you have been to an international tournament you want to have that experience again so we have to go on and do well this week and prove that we can qualify again."

Austria and Sweden are not in qualifying action this weekend.

Sweden opens its campaign on Tuesday evening (Wednesday morning AEST) against Kazakhstan while Austria faces a derby against neighbour Germany.

Source PA Sport