Germany - Algeria Preview: Low's side battle vibrant Africans for quarter-final berth

The three-time winners are looking to set up a last eight match against either France or Nigeria but Halilhodzic's side should not be underestimated
By Matheus Harb in Porto Alegre

Germany will undoubtedly be the favourites when they face Algeria in the Estadio Beira-Rio in the round of 16 on Monday.

The Group G winners showed their full strength in the 4-0 win over Portugal in their tournament opener, but struggled against courageous Ghana and USA despite finishing the first round without a defeat.

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Captain Philipp Lahm believes this team combines well together and hopes they can improve on their third place finishes in each of the last two tournaments in South Africa and on home soil in 2006.

"We took a big step forward," he told reporters. "We can be absolutely satisfied. That's what makes our team strong; that everyone defends. That is what is important in a tournament like this. I have the feeling that the team really works together."

Striker Lukas Podolski is the only likely change in the lineup from the USA clash, with coach Joachim Low ruling out the Arsenal man from Monday’s action due to a strain. On a positive note, though, defender Jerome Boateng is confirmed to start after a small injury scare.

However, the three-time world champions know that they won’t have an easy job against a hard-working Algeria side, who return to the stadium where their World Cup destiny was turned around, with the 4-2 win over South Korea paving the way to a historic qualification.

Coach Vahid Halilhodzic revealed that his team are in high spirits but is sure his men can do greater damage to the Germans while counting on heavy support in the Porto Alegre venue.

"I think we can do things much better and why not? Maybe we will against Germany,” he said.

"We received a lot of support and we have fewer supporters than Germany, but I hope a lot of people will cheer for us - I know you Brazilians love football and we can satisfy you."

No changes are expected from the Algerians, with defender Madjid Bougherra set to return after being benched for the Africans last fixture. And they should continue to rely on Islam Slimani’s goals, with a spot in the quarter-finals at stake.