Former Republic of Ireland international Karen Duggan believes Vera Pauw's side will need to play a "dirty game" to have any chance of getting anything out of Saturday's UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifier against Germany.

Ireland are top of the group at present but Germany have played one match fewer and have also netted 31 goals across their four games without conceding and will be favourites to finish at the summit.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Duggan believes the Irish squad will have no illusions about the scale of the task at hand and will have to find ways of disrupting their German opponents' rhythm.

"There's no denying it's a mammoth task and everyone's been very honest from the get-go," she said.

"No one has said we're going out there and we're trying to win this group. Germany are second in the world.

"They're going through a transition apparently in the last World Cup and they got to the quarter-finals but those girls now have that World Cup experience behind them and 16 goalscorers [in the qualifying campaign], it's going to be hard for them to be doing video analysis to pinpoint how they can stop the Germans.

"So it is a mammoth task and I think it will be one of those games where Ireland have to play a dirty game if they want to get anything out of it. It's going to be backs-to-the-wall stuff but it will be a bonus if they get anything out of this."

Instead, Duggan regards the Ukraine away match next month as the "real crunch game" in the group from an Irish perspective.

"That's the one Ireland have to win but anything from the two games against Germany will just be seen as a bonus," she said.

"If they do get something, it's going to go down as one of the most historic games in Irish women's history definitely."

Follow the Republic of Ireland's UEFA Women's Euro 2022 qualifier against Germany this Saturday (12.30pm) on our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app  or watch live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.

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