The FourFourTwo Preview: Germany vs Algeria
The lethal against the not so lethal.
So far, Algeria have exceeded all expectations in this World Cup by actually qualifying for the knockout stages for the first time in their history. That they did so with verve is reassuring: their impressive 4-2 victory against South Korea was a gutsy display; a 1-1 draw against Russia's strong side drew admiring glances.
Sadly for them, Germany have matched all expectations in the tournament so far. They defeated both Portugal and the USA, only blotting their copybook with a draw against Ghana. If they repeat the form of their opening game, it'll take a sturdy team to match them.
What the local media say
"Match winner Müller was satisfied with the performance of the (team): 'We were clearly the superior team on the field and have made a decent game against a top American team. I even scored a nice goal… But I am doing nothing else but train like a madman. We still have great things (to do).'" - Sport Bild.
Key battle: Thomas Müller vs Rafik Halliche
Thomas Müller is a man with one eye fixed on the Golden Boot this year: his opening game hat-trick against Portugal felt more like a statement of intent than a game-changing performance. A goal against the US has put him amongst the frontrunners for the individual title.
And understandably so. Müller is strong, smart and currently inspired: this tie with Algeria will provide perfect opportunity to increase his tally. Meanwhile, Halliche - who has appeared in two World Cups now, and scored against South Korea in the group stages - will need to draw on all his international experience if he's to shackle the German striker.
Facts and figures
- Germany have lost both of their previous meetings with Algeria in all competitions, scoring 1 goal and conceding 4.
- Joachim Löw’s side attempted 1999 passes (including crosses and corners) in the group stage, more than any other side.
- Germany have scored the opening goal in all 3 of their games so far in the competition. Algeria opened the scoring twice in Group H.
More FFT Stats Zone facts
An easy 3-0 win for Germany.