Argentina vs. Switzerland Preview

Argentina won their group with a maximum nine points. They defeated Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria by one goal each. Switzerland was the seeded team in Group E but finished second. They beat Ecuador and Honduras with a forgettable showing against France in between.

The belief is that Argentina can play much better than they did in the group stage. Lionel Messi has scored four goals and is one of the only bright spots for Argentina. The defense has been vulnerable and there isn’t much service from the midfielder for strikers Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero. Ezequiel Lavezzi will likely start because Aguero is injured. Xherdan Shaqiri is Switzerland’s best player and he proved why with a hat trick against Honduras. Striker Josip Drmic and midfielder Granit Xhaka are players that could give problems to the Argentina defense.

Prediction: Argentina 2, Switzerland 1

I think Lavezzi will have a strong match for Argentina and play well with Messi. Argentina will score the first two goals and the Swiss will pull one back very late.

Photo by Calcio Streaming

Germany vs. Algeria Preview

Germany topped the “Group of Death” with seven points. They defeated Portugal and the United States, and drew Ghana. Algeria is one of the best stories this World Cup. They played Belgium tough in their first match but conceded two second half goals. The Desert Foxes beat South Korea handily 4-2, and mustered out a draw against Russia to progress to the knockout stage.

Germany is still one of the tournament favorites despite not playing with a true striker. Thomas Muller has four goals this tournament including a hat trick against Portugal. He will need support from Mesut Ozil and Mario Goetze. The Germany back line had a rough evening against Ghana in the group stage but responded well against the United States. They might be challenged more tonight if Algeria can get their counterattack going. Algeria striker Islam Slimani was the hero for Algeria in the last two matches. He scored the opening goal against South Korea and the goal to send them to this phase with a header against Russia.

Prediction: Germany 2, Algeria 0

I think Algeria will try to flood the central part of the midfield and make it tough for the Germans to attack. Germany will break through twice in the second half.

 

Photo by Calcio Streaming

 

France vs. Nigeria Preview

France was the strongest team at the World Cup after the first two group matches. They beat Honduras and Switzerland by three goals each and collected eight goals over the two games. Just needing a draw to win the group, they played Ecuador to a 0-0 stalemate in the last group match. Nigeria’s big result of the group stage was hanging on to a 1-0 victory against Bosnia. That match was sandwiched between a draw against Iran and a 3-2 loss to Argentina.

France has plenty of offensive options. Striker Karim Benzema is the focal point of the French attack. He is joined by Mathieu Valbuena and Oliver Giroud. Blaise Matuidi has been one of the best midfielders this tournament. After not scoring against Ecuador, expect France to be direct in their attack like what we saw against Switzerland. Nigeria played well against Argentina. Ahmed Musa scored both goals. Peter Odemwingie and Emmanuel Emenike will be key players in this match against France’s shaky defense.

Prediction: France 3, Nigeria 1

France gets back on track with goals from Benzema, Valbuena and Paul Pogba.

 

Photo by Calcio Streaming