FIFA World Cup Preview: Germany v Algeria

Joachim Low is well aware Germany must show no complacency if they are to avoid a FIFA World Cup upset against Algeria on Monday.

While Germany are three-time world champions, Algeria are set to feature in the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in their history, and victory for the African nation would rank among one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history.

Germany - one of the powerhouses of world football - will undoubtedly start the second-round fixture in Porto Alegre as overwhelming favourites to progress to the quarter-finals.

However, head coach Low believes it would be foolhardy for his side to take the challenge lightly, and is wary of the threat posed by a buoyant Algeria.

"We must remain focused and on our toes because any complacency will be punished," he told reporters. "I took a look at Algeria yesterday for an hour and I know we're up against a very compact side who run a lot and are aggressive.

"Their whole country is euphoric, so we're up against strong opponents."

The encounter is sure to evoke memories of the 1982 World Cup, in which West Germany coasted to a 1-0 victory over neighbours Austria to eliminate Algeria from the group stage.

Algeria had shocked the Germans in their opening match, but the eventual runners-up knew a single goal victory over Austria would be enough to see the two European sides through.

And that is how the match transpired, Horst Hrubesch opening the scoring in the 10th minute, before the two teams played the remainder of the match as something of an exhibition, with the game subsequently becoming dubbed the "Disgrace of Gijon".

Low, however, dismissed any notion of a grudge match, stating: "I find it irritating when I read that this is a match about vengeance.

"Most of the players on my team weren't even born. Why should Algeria want to punish us? It's incomprehensible for me."

Germany will be forced into at least one change from the side that defeated the United States 1-0 in their final pool game last Thursday, as forward Lukas Podolski has a thigh injury.

Algeria have had to determine how they will approach Ramadan in the build-up to this match, but the national football association refuted claims coach Vahid Halilhodzic had urged his players not to fast during the Muslim observance.

The issue is unlikely to distract from what has been a fine World Cup thus far for Halilhodzic's men, with last Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Russia booking their place in the last 16.

Islam Slimani notched twice in the group stage, and the striker could once again be key if Algeria are to prolong their stay in Brazil, with France or Nigeria awaiting the winner in the quarter-finals.