Three-time World Cup winners Germany face Algeria in a last-16 clash tinged with history on Monday, while France and Nigeria square off in another intriguing Europe against Africa contest.
The Germany-Algeria match in Porto Alegre is their first meeting since the 1982 World Cup, where Algeria beat West Germany in a group match but then were eliminated when Germany beat Austria 1-0 in a match that both teams appeared to collude to produce a result that allowed the two neighbours to advance.
Germany coach Joachim Loew, whose Nationalelf are among the favourites to win the World Cup, has warned against complacency and rejected suggestions that Algeria is seeking revenge for the “Disgrace of Gijon” match 32 years ago.
The Desert Foxes, in the knock-out round for the first time, have a perfect record against Germany with two wins in their two meetings.
Algeria are carrying the hopes of the Arab world with them after holding Russia to a draw and overwhelming South Korea 4-2 in the same Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre as Monday’s showdown with Germany.
In Monday’s early match at the Brasilia national stadium, African champions Nigeria are aiming to reach their first World Cup quarterfinal. They were eliminated in the Round of 16 in both 1994 and 1998.
Their opponents France, the 1998 World Cup winners, have more attempts on goal in three group matches (62) than any other team and will be looking to Karim Benzema, with three of France’s eight goals, to lead them to a quarterfinal against either Germany or Algeria.
Nigeria won their only previous match against France 1-0 in Saint-Etienne in 2009. – Reuters