Algeria-Russia preview - World Cup 2014
Algeria is on the brink of creating history by entering into the second round, and Russia is on the brink of elimination. The reverse is also true. A Russian win could take them to the second round and send Algeria home. The good thing for Algeria is that they can reach the second round even with a draw.
Algeria, Russia and South Korea are battling it out for the lone vacant berth to the second round. Algeria is the front-runner, having managed three points from their two matches. Russia and South Korea have managed just one point apiece. If Algeria wins, they will be through. They will be through even with a draw because of their superior goal difference.
All the other results are riddled with permutations and combinations. For instance, for Russia to qualify, they will have to win and hope that Belgium beats South Korea. If both Russia and South Korea win, goal difference comes to play. At the moment, South Korea has the worst goal difference.
Back in 1982, Algeria was in with a chance to reach the second round. A notorious case of match fixing between West Germany and Austria, in which the teams stage-managed a 1-0 win for Germany, eliminated the African team. They will hope fate will make amends for it this time.
Sofiane Feghouli will once again be the fulcrum of the Algerian attack. Islam Slimani and Nabil Bentaleb too can harass the Russian defence.
Russia has not managed to produce an authoritative performance so far in the tournament. This is their final chance. Veteran striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov is just one goal away from becoming Russia’s all-time top scorer.
Russia has not shown killer instinct to close out games, Algeria won't lose this game.
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