Northern Ireland have what it takes to bag upset in Frankfurt, says Ryan Babel
Northern Ireland face a tough Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany in Frankfurt on Tuesday night - but Netherlands ace Ryan Babel insists Michael O'Neill's men have the potential to upset the Group C leaders in their final fixture.
The Netherlands humbled their old rivals 4-2 in Hamburg back in September, a result which temporarily shook the psyche of Germany as a football nation.
Since then, Joachim Low's outfit have won all three group games, including a 2-0 success against Northern Ireland in Belfast, and ensured automatic qualification along with the Netherlands, while Belarus were comfortably beaten 4-0 in Monchengladbach at the weekend.
However, Babel, who faced Northern Ireland's battling qualities during Saturday's scoreless draw with the Oranje in Belfast, feels the men in green can take advantage of a little vulnerability within Die Mannschaft in the Commerzbank-Arena.
"I would say that when Northern Ireland go to Germany on Tuesday, their approach should be the same - just believe right until the end," said Galatasaray attacker Babel.
"I feel like Germany tend to kind of lose focus in the second half, especially if it is still 0-0. Even if Northern Ireland find themselves losing 1-0, the game is still not over for them.
"I think even over there (in Frankfurt) they would still have until the last minute to turn it around.
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
"In my experience, Germany don't tend to like to run naturally behind players. So if Northern Ireland are managing to control the game a little bit and they make sure they have plenty of runners, they can cause Germany a lot of problems."
Babel, capped 63 times, left Windsor Park impressed with Northern Ireland's game plan and resilience.
And qualification via the play-offs in March can still be achieved by O'Neill's outfit, according to the former Liverpool and Ajax star.
"To be honest, I think Northern Ireland is a strong team, they have a lot of determination," he added. "They are very physical. We experienced a difficult night and a draw was a fair result.
"Northern Ireland's strength is in the collective and they are a team with a clear plan. You can tell that they want to put pressure on teams, especially the bigger nations. And we had difficult times in the game against them, for sure. As a team they did well.
"With the performance they showed against us, that could be an advantage for Northern Ireland in the play-offs. At this time I don't know if they can go through as it depends on who they end up playing, but they absolutely have a chance to qualify."