Germany will face Algeria as the teams battle in the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.
The momentous match, which will decide who goes through to the quarter-finals, will be played at the Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on Monday, June 30.
This game is expected to be a fierce battle between two teams who go back a long way. For in Spain in 1982, the Germans did not do their homework and dismissed the African side on the eve of their game. Algeria beat a West German side boasting the likes of Paul Breitner and Karl Heinz Rummenigge on a 2-1 score-line which shocked the nation.
So scared were the Germans of Algeria that they contrived with the Austrians to somehow oust the Algerians from the World Cup as both sides literally stopped playing post the 80th minute of that disgraceful match as Horst Hrubesch’s 10th minute strike suited both teams fine.
This will be a fantastic opportunity for Algeria to set the record straight and get some payback for some of their opponent’s dirty tricks all those years ago in Spain.
While the Germans have breezed into the second round with two wins and a draw in the Group stage, the Algerians have qualified the hard way after having to win their last Group H match against Russia.
Germany started their tournament with a bang as Thomas Muller’s hat-trick inspired them to a 4-0 victory over a hapless Portugal. But they were held by Ghana 2-2 in the next match, which they were on course to lose up until the moment when Miroslav Klose came onto the pitch and changed the whole dynamic of the game as he scored from close range.
Qualification as group leaders was guaranteed when they defeated former coach Juergen Klinsmann’s USA 1-0 in their last match in the group stage.
Algeria had started their campaign with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Belgium after having led for the majority of the match. However, they struck back with vengeance against the Korea Republic, whom they beat 4-2. In the final game of the group stage, Algeria struck late in the game through an Islam Slimani header which clinched qualification to the second round.
The Germans will look to start Klose from the start against Algeria as he again proved against the USA that the kind of penetration and contribution that he makes towards the team cannot be replicated by another player. Mario Gotze, Thomas Muller, and Mesut Ozil should complete the four man attack for the Germans. Muller at 37/10 (888sport) and Klose at 4/1 (bet365) are the favourites to open the scoring for the Germans.
Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger look set to start in the middle of the park. Joachim Loew has not tinkered with his defence so far in this tournament and it is unlikely that he will do so in a knock-out game and hence, the usual back four can expect to start with Manuel Neuer in goal.
Algeria will be looking to Sofiane Feghouli for all the inspiration on the right side of the pitch as Vahid Halilhodzic’s side prepare for one momentous battle on Monday.
Slimani has scored a couple of goals in this World Cup and is Algeria’s leading scorer at the ongoing tournament. Riyad Mahrez at 22/1 (bet365) and Saphir Taider at 25/1 (PaddyPower) are the most popular bets to open the scoring for Algeria.
Tottenham youngster Nabil Bentaleb will be tasked with keeping the ball moving in the middle of the park and provide steel and he will have Mehdi Lacen for company. Algeria will however need to defend out of their skins in order to have any chance against the Germans. Having conceded five goals in the group stages shows that their defence is not up to scratch and this is an area which will need a lot of work.
Germany are 7/20 to win at Youwin while almost all leading bookmakers are offering 3/10 on that possibility and it’s difficult to see Germany not win this one despite having habitually choked in the World Cup knock-outs.
Over 2.5 goals: 3/5 (BetVictor)
Both teams to score and Germany to win: 11/5 (Betway)