World Cup Day 19 – The Gijon Grudge Game ?

World Cup 2014 Day 19 is upon us with the fifth and sixth games in the “last 16” round with fans wondering if today’s games between France and Nigeria and Germany and Algeria will be as entertaining as the weekend’s games . On Saturday we had the excitement of a penalty shoot out between Brazil and Chile in a game played , as predicted by the Live Football Scores team at breakneck speed and in the other game between Colombia and Uruguay a great game with a wonder goal from James Rodriguez who we highlighted in Saturday’s blog post.

On Sunday we saw a last minute victory by The Netherlands over Mexico in some seriously added extra time (van Gaal has learnt “Fergie time” already !) followed by a nail biting game between Costa Rica and Greece which went to extra time and penalties ( as predicted in yesterday’s blog post) with Costa Rica winning and keeping the magic of the tournament alive as they reach their first World Cup quarter final.

So will today’s matches give us the excitement and entertainment that we enjoyed at the weekend ?

The first match today will be played at 1700 BST in Brasilia between France and Nigeria . France have qualified for the last 16 with little fuss, scoring plenty of goals and playing well as a unit . Coach Didier Deschamps deserves credit for getting them to play this way especially when you compare the 2014 squad with the 2010 squad in South Africa where their focus was on the next strike committee meeting rather than the next game !

Their opponents today Nigeria are themselves no strangers to off the field distractions with a boycott of training on Thursday regarding the alleged non payment of bonuses. This is a repeat of a similar issue prior to last year’s Confederations Cup tournament – this time Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan has stepped in and promised the Nigerian players that they will be paid.

France have Johan Cabaye back from suspension for this game and will be confident of gaining a quarter final place. Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has scored 9 goals in his last 9 appearances for Les Bleus – his current strike rate could well decide this fixture. Nigeria however also  have their own striker in a rich vein of form , Ahmed Musa has proved a handful for defenders so far in this competition so this looks like being an intriguing contest . The Live Football Scores team fancy Les Bleus to just shade the Super Eagles having the edge when it comes to players with match winning capabilities.

In today’s second “last 16” game Germany take on Algeria in Porto Alegre at 2100 BST in what could be regarded as a “grudge game” . The Algerians still remember the World Cup fixture in Gijon, Spain on 25th June 1982 when what was then West Germany took on Austria in the final Group 2 game . In those days the last group games were played at different times so West Germany and Austria knew prior to their game that a win by one or two goals for West Germany would  put both West Germany and Austria through to the next round.

West Germany duly scored a goal after ten minutes from Hrubesch and thereafter both teams made no attempt to score and played out a friendly type match . This manipulation caused outrage in in both countries and was deplored by broadcasters from both countries with fans at the actual game shouting ” Fuera, Fuera” ( Out! Out! ).

The event is known in Germany as Schande von Gijon ( Disgrace of Gijon) and went down as a dark chapter of World Cup history – it is still etched in the Algerian’s minds as after beating West Germany 2-1 in their first group game in 1982 they were robbed of a place in the next round by collusion between West Germany and Austria.

So with this history behind them will Algeria cause a shock and overhaul the Germans ? – Algeria deserve great credit for trying to play football in this tournament and not parking the bus but they are unlikely to be able to overcome a strong , resilient and organised German side . Germany showed in the group games that they have strength in depth and are capable of bringing people on from the bench to recover a situation . German fans will hope that veteran striker Miroslav Klose can get some game time and get a chance of beating Ronaldo’s ( the Brazilian) record of 15 World Cup goals – it seems certain that he will sometime during this years tournament.

With two great games in prospect is there any value to be found for punters today ? thankfully the guys at Coral have come up with two enhanced odds betting offers today both of which look worthy of serious consideration for today’s picks . Usual terms and conditions apply – £20 maximum stake , open to new and existing customers.
So what are today’s offers ?

France v Nigeria – Benzema To Score Anytime And France To Win In 90 Mins – 13/8

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Germany v Austria – Germany To Win By Three Or More Goals – 5/2

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Enjoy the games and don’t forget to follow the World Cup 2014 live scores at the Live Football Scores site !