Many think this will be Germany's year. Glenn Hoddle
GERMANY vs FRANCE
I recall the infamous incident in the ‘82 World Cup when the German keeper Harald Schumacher catapulted French defender Patrick Battison up into the air, and should have been sent off.
I am sure France will be out for revenge, much in the same way as Algeria were out for revenge, but that sort of motivation is never quite enough.
I take the Germans to get through because of two key players: goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and goalscorer Thomas Muller, the latter of which is in fine form and going for the Golden Boot along with Miroslav Klose on the bench. Neuer played against Algeria as well as any of Germany’s greatest ever sweepers, Franz Beckenbauer and Lothar Matthaus!
The keeper has to play as a sweeper with the defence so square and high up the pitch, and with so much pace in the Algeria attack.
If you were ‘scouting’ Germany, the French will be doing their homework and think they could ‘do’ Neuer from the half way line.
But you would need Pele, who nearly scored from the half way line in the ‘70 World Cup, or a David Beckham. And I am not sure the French have one of them!
Up front Muller is so versatile, he can play in a variety of attacking positions and his movement is so good, but it’s his movement that impresses me the most. He is not a traditional No 9, he plays in between the centre halves, but is equally astute in playing between the centre half and the full backs. And he is always on the move.
Joachim Low also has alternatives on the bench. Chelsea’s Andre Schurrie and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira affected the game when they came on against Algeria. Schurrie showed terrific skill for his goals, but the team still have problems and although Mesut Ozil scored late on, he seemed off the pace of the game.
I’m sure Algeria will be proud of what they achieved in this tournament, but it should have been no surprise as all their players are now in Europe and they are fit, but they came up against a team even fitter. The key to teams like Germany scrapping through is the calmness their players show inside the 18 yard box. That’s where the top players shine with their ability to keep cool when it matters.
Class will always show, but I imagine the German team got an old fashioned rollicking at half time against Algeria, and they will need to step up a gear to beat France.
Their coach has been in the job for an awful long time without delivering a trophy, which is unusual for Germany. Many think this might be their year.
But Germany will have to tighten up a little bit against France if they are to progress…
PREDICTION: Germany to qualify