One of the most mismatched matches in the round of 16 is Germany against Algeria, which kicks off this evening.
It is hard to find a side left in the competition that is so packed with recognisable talent as Joachim Low's side is. Transfermarkt.com estimates that Germany's starting eleven against the USA was worth an estimated £307 million. Whereas, the Algeria side that drew 1-1 with Russia is worth only £22.88 million (according to the same site).
David v Goliath
In terms of recognised talent then there probably isn't a more David v Goliath story in the whole of the World Cup.
On top of being a genuine David versus Goliath story though Germany v Algeria is also a chance for the African side to extract some footballing revenge on Germany.
In the 1982 World Cup in Spain Germany played out a 80 minutes of football against Austria where the ball didn't go five yards beyond the half way line in either direction.
The reason for this was that a 1-0 scoreline guaranteed that both Germany and their opponents (Austria) qualified for the next round at the expanse of Algeria. The farce of that match is the reason why the final group games are now played simultaneously.
Potential upset on the cards
Were Algeria to progress to the quarter finals then it would be one of the great upsets of World Cup history.
Have they even got chance though? Germany afterall are strong, strong favourites to qualify.
Fortunately, for Algeria though Germany do have some weaknesses that Algeria are perfectly set up to tactically exploit.
Firstly, we need to look at how Germany attack teams. Loew's side is essentially the Guardiola tiki-taka side of Barcelona. The only out and out striker in Germany's squad is
legendary striker Miroslav Klose who doesn't start but comes on for the last twenty minutes if needed.
Germany then play what often becomes a strikerless formation with Muller playing as a false nine role. This set up can of course be brutally effective but it can also be nullified by Algeria's tactical set up.
Algeria will play Tottenham's defensive midfielder Nabil Bentaleb and Monaco's Carl Medjani as dual defensive midfielder's sitting right in front of the back four and three
attacking midfielders who will in turn shield the defensive midfielders.
This defensive unit will drop onto the edge of their own penalty box when Germany have the ball. This in turn will limit the space Germany's attacks have to exploit and force them to rely on a moment of brilliance.
The Germans will of course have the vast majority of possession as the Algerian's invite pressure onto them but this is exactly what the Algerian's will want because, it exposes a slow looking German backline to the counterattck.
On the counter-attack Algeria have some fast pacey attackers like Sofiane Feghouli and Islam Slimani players whose pace should cause center backs Mertesacker and Hummels all sorts of problems. If Algeria are able to break forward with pace and expose Germany's lack of pace they will create chances and if they taken them they will cause an upset.
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