Germany v Algeria - World Cup R16 match preview

Germany and Algeria meet tonight in Porto Alegre for their round of 16 duel. The Germans have progressed through the group stage as usual, and now the push comes to shove as they have a point to prove - that they can perform when it counts. They have failed to do that in all recent tournaments. Algeria seem to be the best African side in this tournament and they'll try to win one against a huge favorite.

Algeria have almost done it against Belgium but couldn't keep up with the tempo and allowed the Belgians to overturn the score from 0-1 to 2-1. Then they won 4-2 against South Korea with a fine offensive performance, and then kept Russia to 1-1 to earn a spot in the knockout stage at their expense. Algeria have so far shown very good defence in their matches against Belgium and Russia, and are likely to implement the same approach here. The Fennec Foxes will be playing on counter attacks, and they're very good in those as their players have the guile to make the most of the situations when they have the ball and there's some open space to use. However, Algeria will need a lot of luck and a lot of defensive concentration as this is the strongest team they've faced so far in this tournament.

Most Algerian players are relatively or completely unknown, but a lot of them are young and just got transfered to the European clubs, so we may hear more about them in the near future. They were good enough to progress through the group stage against all odds, even almost pulled an upset against hugely favored Belgium, so they shouldn't be completely ruled out despite Germany being on the other end. The Algerians are one good team and they have a certain potential of pulling an upset.

Germany have performed well in their opening match against Portugal which was won 4-0, then failed to perform in the second round as they usually do and drew with Ghana 2-2, finally beating USA 1-0. The Germans are here as one of the favorites to lift the trophy but they are under great pressure as they were favorites in almost any tournament they've played recently and didn't manage to win any of them. However, Germany don't have a habit of allowing lesser sides to beat them, the problems arise when they're meeting an opponent of similar quality.

Expect Algeria to offer decent resistance to Germany and to at least score once to make the game interesting, but Germany are a much better team and the thing that will actually win this match for them is their high tempo and energy. The Algerians seem to have a problem with that.