Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Two of the world`s heavyweights, France and Germany are set for an intense high octane clash after securing victories in their last 16 knock-out stage on Monday.
French heroics were witnessed as they overcame a resolute Nigeria 2-0 after both goals came in the last 11 minutes that saw Didier Deschamp`s side through. On the other hand Germany took two hours of gruelling session to overcome Algeria 2-1. Two European powerhouses are now pitted against each other in the quarter-finals and well there are no favourites in this clash as both teams are stupendous in their own ways.
France have continued their free flowing football under Deschamps and have looked like a force who mean business here in Brazil. The likes of Karim Benzema, Oliver Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba have risen to the occasion for the 1998 world champions. France are strong in midfield and their defence too have stood up to the task so far.
In the match on Monday, France couldn`t quite dominate the proceedings as Nigeria looked a notch above in large parts of the match. But good teams grind out results and similar to Netherlands, France took it late to eke out a win. This French side has a host of stars and is also filled with young talent that makes them look fearless.
On the other hand lies Germany who are touted as one of the favourites alongside Brazil and Argentina to lift the title. Even after missing out on several star players due to injury, the German side boasts of a team that looks lethal. Such is their depth! Germany qualified for their 17th quarter-final stage in World Cups, and that shows how big a household name they are.
Germany pipped Algeria after Manuel Neuer heroics that saw them overcome a good Algeria side. The Bayern Munich stopper excelled for his side who looked vulnerable in most parts of the game. This World Cup has witnessed some small nation teams rise up to the occasion so far and Algeria was no exception. It was always going to be a good match with plenty of chances and Algeria missed a series of them before Premier League stars, Andre Schurrle and Mesut Ozil sealed a laboured win for Joachem Loew`s side.
The Germans are expected to win big every match but even Loew acknowledged the fact that in World Cups no games are a stroll in the park and rightly so. With the climate in Brazil making life difficult for European teams, the survival of the fittest between the two powerhouses will see them get through in the blockbuster Friday show.
There will be a promise in attack with galore of chances as key decisions in small areas with tactical brilliance will be the main showcase between them. For fans and neutrals alike this show shouldn`t be missed at any cost!