Germany assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick has reaffirmed the notion that tonight's World Cup qualifier against Austria is going to be a stern test for the Group C leaders.

Rarely have Germany appeared so worried about facing a neighbour they have not lost to since 1986, but recent defensive debacles and a resurgence of the Austrian game means the clash in Munich's Allianz Arena is not being taken for granted by anybody.

"Austria can hurt us," Flick said at a press conference.

"They are strong in defence and have a very good counter-attacking game."

Germany lead the group by five points from Austria, who are level with the other two rivals for qualification, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden, who meet in Dublin.

"We're definitely going to score more goals than we concede against Austria" - Joachim Low

Defeat for Joachim Low's side would throw the race for qualification wide open whereas victory for a nation who have come at least third in every major tournament since 2006 would take them to within touching distance for a ticket to Brazil.

With that in mind, Low has vowed to attack Austria and not let his side's defensive frailties cloud his judgment.

"We're definitely going to score more goals than we concede against Austria," Low said.

"Of course, we have got to be more stable defensively and work better as a team, but attacking is the best form of defence."

Low says the four goals conceded against the USA, the five Switzerland put past them last year and the three shipped against Paraguay last month have little relevance anyway.

"Please try to differentiate between qualifying or tournament matches and friendlies," he said.

"I am not prepared to say that my team is only going to play on the counter attack. We're not going to group within our own half."

While Germany appear to be doing all they can to play up the chances of Austria, their Swiss coach Marcel Koller is not going to be lulled into believing them.

"Germany are top of the group and they are favourites to win it" - Marcel Koller

"Number two in the world is playing at home against number 55 and so there is a pretty big gap," he said.

"Germany are top of the group and they are favourites to win it, and this is just their normal way of coming into a game."

Germany captain Philipp Lahm has been on the winning side in his five meetings with Austria and he will pick up his 100th cap tonight convinced that record will continue.

"Games against Austria are always exciting," he said. "When you can play your 100th international game, then of course that's fantastic, but the important thing is that we win it."

Live television coverage of Republic of Ireland v Sweden from 19.00 on Friday 6 September on RTÉ Two and (RoI only). Live radio coverage with full commentary from 19:00 on RTÉ Game On on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).