Germany v Algeria – Extra Time EchoesStats
Germany v Algeria
Another quarter-finals beckons for the Germans, but not before they see off a well-organised Algeria side with nothing to lose…
Germany impressed in their opening game against Portugal, faltered in Game 2 against Ghana, then did what was necessary against the US to secure qualification to the knockout stages. It may not have been completely emphatic, but since the 33rd minute of their opening group game – when they went 2-0 up against Portugal – a last-16 berth has never really been in doubt.
Joachim Löw can give considerable thanks to striker Thomas Muller who netted a hat-trick in the opening game against Portugal and then the only goal of the game against USA to take his tally for the tournament to four.
The Germans are looking to reach their fourth consecutive World Cup semi-final, a feat that no other nation has achieved in the history of the game.
Meanwhile, Algeria booked their place in the last 16 for the first time in their history with a 1-1 draw against Russia. Vahid Halilhodžić’s men fell behind after just six minutes against the Russians, but equalised on 60 minutes through Islam Slimani then defended with admirable cohesion and discipline to hold on for the point that they needed.
At the end of the game the players and coaching staff celebrated as if they had won the World Cup, suggesting that anything from here on will be a bonus. That nothing-to-lose attitude could make them an even more dangerous opponent for the Germans.
Thomas Muller recovered from a facial injury to play the full 90 minutes against USA, while Jerome Boateng also over came a knock picked up in the Ghana game to play. Löw has no major injury concerns when selecting his starting XI for this game.
Madjid Bougherra was left out of the Algerian starting XI for the Russia game, with Essaid Belkalem taking his place in the team. That was the only change to what has been a reasonably settled team throughout the World Cup.
Algeria have won both previous meetings with Germany, including a famous 2-1 victory at the 1982 World Cup.
The Algerians, though, still have a score to settle with Germany after the Africans were eliminated later on in the group stages of that World Cup following a controversial match between West Germany and Austria that ended in a mutually beneficial 1-0 scoreline. That game is the reason that the final group stage matches are now played simultaneously at major international tournaments.
At an appealing price of 7/10 in the Match Odds, there’ll be plenty of punters tempted to get stuck into the Germans here. But I have a niggling feeling that Algeria may well spoil the party, or at least make things not so straightforward for the Germans.
I’m going to put my neck on the line with a Draw No Bet punt on Algeria at odds of 6/1 and hope that they can at least take the game to extra time.
Although the Fennec Foxes are not likely to sit in and defend from the offset, they showed against Russia and Belgium that they’re capable of digging their heels in when necessary. A bet on Under 2.5 goals at odds of 5/4 is dependant upon the Germans not getting an early lead, but looks a good value punt nevertheless.