European powerhouse France resume their World Cup duty when they take on former African champions Nigeria in the Round of 16 clash tonight.
European powerhouse France resume their World Cup duty when they take on former African champions Nigeria in the Round of 16 clash tonight whereas Germany, one of the favourites to for the World Cup title, lock horns against Algeria who have surprised one and all with their performance in Brazil so far. Here is the preview for both the games that are scheduled to be played tonight:
France vs. Nigeria
Desired result – France to win
The pace and power of Nigeria’s attack go against the strength and tenacity of France’s defence as the duo meet on Monday’s round of 16 match. Although France kept two clean sheets in the group stage – against Honduras and Ecuador; the variety Nigerian attack offers a much daunting proposition. Nigerian winger Ahmed Musa will be their key player as his speed will be a constant threat to the French defence and he will look to expose the space behind France’s fullbacks.
Meanwhile for France, striker Olivier Giroud and winger Antoine Griezmann are challenging for a starting spot alongside Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena in France’s three-pronged attack, while Paul Pogba and Moussa Sissoko are contesting a place in midfield. Griezmann and Sissoko are quicker players and better suited to playing on the break than Giroud and Pogba. Coach Didier Deschamps might play Yohan Cabaye in the centre of midfield while Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny might retain his place after the 0-0 draw against Ecuador.
Germany vs. Algeria
Desired result – German win
Coach Joachim Loew might field a powerful Germany side when they take on the ‘Desert Foxes’ Algeria in the second Round of 16 match. Germany showed their World Cup credentials by demolishing Portugal 4-0 in their opening game but stumbled slightly against Ghana, drawing 2-2. On the other hand, Algeria won their remaining group game 4-2 against Russia and will be high on confidence. Algeria has beaten Germany in the World Cup before, defeating the then-West Germany 2-1 in Spain in 1982. That ‘Shame of Gijon’ will be afresh in Algerian minds when they take the field against the Germans tonight. Lukas Podolski is sidelined with an injury for Germany but with an in-form Thomas Muller, expect a goal-fest in Porto Alegre!
Even if football pundits might predict France and Germany to win their respective games, the ‘beautiful game’ always has a bag full of surprises!