Luxembourg manager Luc Holtz has insisted his side has have nothing to fear from the Republic of Ireland as they prepare to lock horns in Dublin with World Cup qualification points at stake.

The Group A rivals meet at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday with Holtz's side having made significant strides in recent seasons, finishing second in their group in the last Nations League campaign and taking four points from Lithuania during the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

As a result, they will run out with a healthy respect for the hosts, but far from scared of what might lie ahead of them.

Holtz said: "We know that we have made a lot of progress in recent years, so the confidence is OK, but we have great respect for the Irish team. We have respect, but we have no fear for tomorrow.

"We have to work hard – every match, we have to work hard – and the solidarity of the team is the key for success."

Ireland launched their campaign with a 3-2 defat in Serbia on Wednesday night but Holtz, whose side went down 1-0 to World Cup hosts Qatar in Hungary in a friendly the same night, knows what to expect when they return to home turf.

He said: "They were maybe not the favourites against Serbia, tomorrow Ireland are favourites.

"They are playing at home and we have to be mentally well prepared to enter into this fight for 95 minutes tomorrow evening because Ireland are strong favourites against us."

Victories over group winners Montenegro, Azerbaijan and Cyprus in the Nations League have edged Luxembourg away from the minnows tag they wore for many years, but Holtz remains realistic about their aims for the competition.

He said: "The objective for us for each game is the same: we go on to the pitch and try to get a positive result, that’s the same for all games.

"We know that we have very tough teams in our group – Portugal, we don’t need to speak about it, they are one of the best teams in the world; Serbia are a very strong team at home; Azerbaijan, we should not underestimate them because they have made progress and also they’re strong.

"And Ireland, of course, with their fighting spirit, they have top players, so we can’t say we want to take a number of points, it’s impossible."

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