The Republic of Ireland will look to maintain their perfect start to Euro 2021 qualification in a balmy Athens today, but no one in the travelling party is under any illusions about how tough this assignment will be.

Vera Pauw's side have two victories from two in Group I - a 2-0 defeat of Montenegro which came under the interim management of Tom O'Connor, and a topsy-turvy 3-2 win against Ukraine in Pauw's first game in charge.

Both of those clashes were in Tallaght, and against the two teams who currently occupy the bottom two spots in the table. Greece will be their toughest test yet.

"We have to get points off all the teams around us if we want to have a serious chance of making it," said Diane Caldwell when reflecting on Ireland's hopes.

"It's a must-win game. You need to believe you can beat anyone on the day, but realistically, we're playing for second.

"We have to do the job against everyone else in the group and try to get as many goals and points on the board as possible."

There's a realism in the camp; Germany with four wins from four, 31 goals scored and not one conceded, are going to win this group - they've already beaten the Greeks 5-0.

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's outfit are one of the best sides in the world so there would be no shame in finishing behind them in this group, and second could be enough to seal automatic qualification for the finals in England. The three best runners-up make it, the rest head for the play-offs.

Greece dusted themselves down after that German hammering and come into this one on the back of an impressive 4-0 destruction of Montenegro. They will not want to slip six points behind Ireland even this early in the campaign.

Temperatures will be around 23 degrees so it won't be uncomfortably hot, but this is a real banana skin for the visitors.

"We go into this game aiming to get the win but also knowing that a draw does not kick us out of the qualification race," Pauw said on Monday.

"We have to be realistic where we stand in order to have success and that means being aware of how strong Germany are and that we are fighting for second place.

"That is not to suggest that Greece will be an easy opponent. They are very dangerous on the counter attack and at set-pieces, plus they have some influential players who can make a difference. We know that we will have to play well in order to get the win."

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Megan Campbell, Megan Connolly, Courtney Brosnan and Claire Walsh are all on the injured list.

Pauw can take heart form the brilliant form of Denise O'Sullivan - named North Carolina Courage's MVP for the second year running last month - while key players Katie McCabe, Rianna Jarrett and Louise Quinn are all in rude health.

"We have been dealing with a few injuries coming into camp, but we can only get stronger from this," added Pauw.

"It is an opportunity for others to step up and for players to get a chance in the starting line-up. It is up to the talented players to show themselves.

"The week building up to this game has been very good. We had to travel but that is part of football and we planned for it. Everything went very smoothly and we have settled in very well. We trained at the stadium on Monday and now we are ready for the game.

"It would be very positive to follow on from our previous games with another win, but we are taking everything game by game." 

Three points would be huge in the Irish quest to make a major tournament for the first time. There's a real buzz around the squad right now and victory in their final game of the year would send them into 2020 in fine fettle.

Watch it live on RTÉ2 from 12.45pm.

Republic of Ireland

Goalkeepers: Marie Hourihan (SC Braga), Grace Moloney (Reading), Niamh Reid Burke (Peamount United)

Defenders: Keeva Keenan (Celtic), Diane Caldwell (SC Sand), Claire O'Riordan (MSV Duisburg), Louise Quinn (Arsenal), Chloe Mustaki (Shelbourne), Eabha O'Mahony (Cork City WFC)

Midfielders: Niamh Fahey (Liverpool), Denise O'Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Stephanie Roche (CF Florentia), Tyler Toland (Manchester City), Hayley Nolan (University of Hartford), Jessica Ziu (Shelbourne), Jamie Finn (Shelbourne), Katie McCabe (Arsenal), Julie-Ann Russell (Sydney University)

Forwards: Rianna Jarrett (Wexford Youths), Leanne Kiernan (West Ham United), Amber Barrett (FC Koln), Emily Whelan (Shelbourne), Clare Shine (Glasgow City)

Listen to the RTÉ Soccer podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudSpotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Greece v Ireland on Tuesday (kick-off 1pm via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, and watch live on RTÉ2 and on the RTÉ Player.