2014 FIFA World Cup: Russia vs Algeria Pick, Odds, Prediction - 6/26/14
Russia (0-1-1) vs. Algeria (1-1)
World Cup: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Brazil)
The Line: Algeria +260 See the Latest Odds
Russia and Algeria meet up in Group H action at the World Cup on Thursday with the result of this one largely determining the second qualification spot in the round of 16.
Russia have long been an under the radar type team in world football that often gets over looked but usually over perform and while they drew a relatively favourable group they haven’t been able to take advantage through two games. The Russians had to settle for a tie against Korea in their tournament opener thanks in large part to an own goal from their goal keeper and then had their hearts broken against a Belgium team that was badly outplayed but still managed to secure the three points. Russia has but one goal so far in this tournament but have only conceded two leaving them with a decent goal differential but they need to beat Algeria in this one if they want to advance to the knockout stage. Russia has had trouble in the offensive zone but have been very strong defensively and against an Algerian side that put up four on Korea they’ll have to be on point in their own third if they want any shot at advancing.
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Algeria can push through to the round of 16 with a draw or a win unless they tie and Korea does some damage on Belgium but in all likelihood if they can avoid a loss they are in great shape to advance. With Nigeria already booking their ticket to the round of 16 and Ghana having their opportunity today as well we could very well see three Africans sides make it through to the knockout stage and while that may not be as impressive as South America’s five it would be a huge celebration for a continent often overlooked on this stage. Algeria is a tough side to figure out as they were very underwhelming against a sluggish Belgian side in their tournament opener then turned on the burners against Korea in their second game leaving us with the question of which side will show up. Despite the story and the success of this Algerian side I think Russia id the better team and to be honest I think they’re on par with Belgium and could very well be atop the group. As such I like the Russians to vindicate their efforts so far, get the three points and advance to the round of 16.