World Cup 2014 Round of 16 Open Thread: Day 3; FRA vs. NGA, GER vs. ALG

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Today's grouping of World Cup matches features the front runners from groups E and H.

Yesterday's knockout rounds contained two tightly contested affairs as Costa Rica triumphed over Greece on penalties, while Holland needed just one penalty to overcome Mexico.

Today's matches look to be somewhat less evenly matched affairs as France and Germany, two of the world's most storied footballing nations, respectively take on the relatively unheralded Ghana and Algeria.

This is your all-purpose World Cup open thread. Drop in to make some predictions, talk about the games, or anything else World Cup related.

Today's Games

France vs. Nigeria

Watch it on: ESPN

Kick off: 9:00 AM PT at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia

Despite a brief stumble in their final group stage match against Ecuador, drawing 0-0, France won their group handily, including a stunning 5-2 win over projected dark-horse Switzerland. Nigeria, meanwhile, squeaked into second place in Group F, losing their final game against Argentina 3-2. The match-up will be between two mercurial sides, both capable of outstanding attacking play, but anything other than a France win here would be a huge upset.

Germany vs. Algeria

Watch it on: ESPN

Kick off: 1:00 PM PT at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre

The Germans, like France, could not quire get through their group with a perfect record intact, ending their second match in a 2-2 draw against Ghana in the Group of Death. The Germans drew a hard match up in this round as well, with Algeria playing determined, gritty soccer on their way to their second place finish in Group H. Much like in their match against the US last week, the Germans can expect Algeria to run out a side that will attempt to shut things down and thwart them at every turn. It will likely take a bit of magic to unlock the game for the Germans, but they are flush with players capable of providing just that sort of moment.

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