They may not know a lot about their players but world champions Germany will show Northern Ireland the utmost respect in Paris tomorrow night by going to win the game from the first minute, according to defender Mats Hummels.
Northern Ireland’s famous victory over Ukraine in Lyon on Thursday has secured them third place in Group C.
They may still need another point to ensure qualification for the knockout stages, while a shock victory could see them topping the group.
Germany lead Poland on goal difference, but need a win at the Parc des Princes to avoid a last 16 clash with Switzerland and a possibly trickier path to the later stages.
Poland play the already eliminated Ukraine and Hummels admitted that goal difference could force Germany to attack in greater numbers.
“We have to win if Poland wins so that’s in our minds,” he said. “If we win 1-0 and Poland wins 3-0 then we will be second. If that happens we will not stay back with 11 players. We would go forward and try to win the game by more goals.”
Hummels admitted that he was not overly familiar with many of the names likely to appear on the Northern Ireland team sheet at the Parc des Princes, but said they would analyse each player to ensure there were no surprises tomorrow night.
The defender expects a similar style of play to the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, who they played in qualifying.
The German squad are certainly keen to avoid a repeat of that shock defeat in Dublin in October and so the plan is to kill off any confidence Northern Ireland might take from a strong start.
He said: “The good thing is we have analysed the opposition and we know about them. We have seen in recent days and we will go more in depth tomorrow but it’s not a great secret to us.
“If you have played against players a couple of times you know their tricks. That’s not the case for Northern Irish players, but they are not going to be strangers to us. We will analyse them as well as possible and I will see videos of their strikers. I hope I don’t find out about them on the pitch.
“The British teams are often very similar in their styles of play. We played Scotland and Ireland in the qualifiers and we saw how strong these teams can be. How physically strong. How mentally strong. How passionate they are.
“It’s a possibility that they gain confidence to beat us if we let them. Of course we will try to be the better team from the first minute so that they don’t start believing that they can win.”
One of the players Hummels is likely to come up against is Conor Washington, the QPR striker who once worked as a postman. “I have heard about this story. I love stories like this,” he said.
Another man Hummels could have to deal with is Wigan striker Will Grigg, who has become an internet sensation because of the chant featuring his name. The reworked version of Gala’s 1990s classic ‘Freed from Desire’ features the lyrics 'Will Grigg's on fire, your defence is terrified'.
The song has captivated the German press, with many whistling it around the media centre, and although Hummels is a fan of the player and the song, he doesn’t wholly agree with the lyrics or plan to belt it out on the team bus.
"I may be the worst singer in this team, so I won’t do that," he laughed, when asked to sing it at the official pre-match press conference.
"I like this song and these actions. I would like to agree to it, but it’s not quite right (that’s he’s terrified). I don’t want him to score but I’m a great fan of his.”