France v Nigeria (17.00 GMT)
France have surprised a few people who thought that they we still in the rebuilding mode and were here to make up the numbers but two wins and eight goals in their first two matches made a statement and Karim Benzema is producing the goods with three goals and is currently rated (Castrol Index) as the fourth best player at this years World Cup.
Nigeria came through a tricky looking group with three of them battling it out for that second placed spot behind Argentina and despite defeat in their final game the four points picked up in the first two was enough to see them through. They only scored 3 goals in the group with Ahmed Musa getting two of those and in Vincent Enyeamathey have the best rated (Castrol Index) goalie in the competition.
I believe this will be a day for the European Countries starting off with a win for France, patient eight goals in three games and they are looking solid here unlike in previous years, they are now unbeaten in their last eight international matches in which they have won six of them. Nigeria gave a very good account of themselves when going down 3-2 to Argentina but just one win in their last seven international matches draws concerns. I think France will win the match and win it well but they conceded twice against Switzerland whilst the Nigerians scored twice against Argentina, I think there will be goals at both ends but a victory for France.
Both Teams To Score and France to Win at 3.75 (Coral)
Nigeria looks pretty dreadful against Iran and then just managed to nick it against Bosnia. As Argentina were through they didn’t defend or play with any real tempo or gusto for large parts of the game and switched off focus allowing Nigeria to respond twice. France will be such a tougher test and Nigeria’s defensive frailties will be their downfall here I think.
France did everything but score against Ecuador – one of those days where they could play all night and remain goalless – this could be the reverse where they don’t do much but cruise to a win as they find their goal touch, so evident in the group’s early games, again
Nigeria did well to qualify and are hard to judge; I personally didn’t give them much chance and now they are here they could make like difficult as all these matches coul dbe very tight
But, this could be the one clear-cut and decisive game of the 8 in this round – France have been creating chances and with Benzema looking very lively and Remy possibly likely to feature, they could score 2 or 3 and I can’t see Nigeria managing the same
Deschamps needs to be brave and attacking rather than try to be cagey and sit back – if France push forward, their mercurial midfield could easily control the game and they could run out 3-1 winners
No value for me here really other than maybe looking at over 3.5 or 3-1 correct score but probably one to avoid for a bet as I have the nagging 1-0 France score in my head too
Traders may enjoy laying France in the hope they struggle to break down Nigeria, or the Africans score early; the 1.44 price on France is probably about right so maybe looking for a drift in that is wise – or a Nigeria HT France FT turnaround maybe worth considering too (28 on BF)
I will probably have a small go on over 3.5 goals at 3.14 and the HT FT turnaround at 28
Germany v Algeria (21.00 GMT)
It was all pretty much straight forward for the Germans in their group stage, they opened with a 4-0 win over Portugal, the a draw with Ghana and a victory over the American’s saw them finish top with seven points. Thomas Mueller is currently sitting on four goals after hitting a hat-trick in the opening game and they have Hummels(DEF), Lahm (MID) and Kroos (MID) all rated in the top five for their positions.
Algeria made it through as runners up to Belgium after securing four points which included a win over South Korea and a draw with Russia, been scoring (6) plenty but also been conceding (5). Islam Slimani is the only player to have scored more than one goal (2) which means he now has 12 goals in 23 international games.
I do not see any reason why the Germans will not advance to the next round, unbeaten in their last thirteen international matches in which they have produced nine victories which includes wins over England, Portugal and Chile whilst Algeria have won five of their last seven their wins have been over the likes of Armenia, Slovenia and Burkina Faso! These two did meet in the 82 world cup and Algeria won the match 2-1 but that will not happen here, no value in a Germany win and the handicap does not look great either so I will take HT/FT.
Germany/Germany HT/FT at 1.85 (BetVictor)
The Algeria side have created history reaching the second stage for the first time in their history. They famously were denied by their very opponents in 1982 who played out a farcical draw with Austria ensuring both teams qualified. Algeria should be gunning for revenge for that but Germany have far too much firepower for them. It will be tight I’d imagine as Algeria have defended rather well so far but I can see them Germans going through by a goal or two to nil.
Can the Algerians stop the powerful German team from moving ominously forward into the final 8? Not many are giving them a chance and that could be made to look foolish – Germany are like a few of the fancied teams in this WC, decent and effective but equally not strong defensively and reliant on some moments of magic rather than being an effective unit controlling games
It makes for great games and an entertaining WC for sure – this is similar to the other match today in that Germany could push forward and take the game by the scruff of the neck and dominate, coasting to a 4-0 win, or they could be held by the plucky Algerians and then start to become wasteful or fret about scoring and allow their opponents to get a foothold. Every team has a decent spell in all games and Algeria could surprise by taking the lead! You never know! I’m very wary about ‘obvious’ results and always look for the contrary result if it is possible
So Germany to win looks obvious and the 1.33 price reflects that – another game a lay of Germany may be an idea as the price may drift although Algeria are probably hoping for a draw rather than expecting to nick a result. It could well be a 1-0 Germany win as they huff and puff and eventually manage to scramble a winner so perhaps draw HT Germany FT is the call there (that’s 4.5 which tempts me more than the straight win)
Under 2.5 goals is 2.48 best which is the call for me with that HT FT result too