A final-day result against Russia secured the Algerians’ their first Round of 16 berth. They will enter the fray as outsiders against Germany, though their ability to hit on the counter -- as evidenced in the victory over Korea Republic -- could present an issue or two.
AFP/Getty ImagesKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV
There are no surprises from the Greek side: It will sit deeply, soak up pressure and wait for the right time to counter. It proved enough to get out of the group stage for the first time, but the tactics may not prove enough to lead them past Costa Rica.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Ottmar Hitzfeld usually crafts a defiant group, but the loss of Steve von Bergen (facial fracture) has led to instability at the back. The creaky rearguard means Josip Drmic and Xherdan Shaqiri will need to keep firing to provide the Swiss with a chance to upset Argentina.
Getty ImagesStu Forster
Most of the good work in this side starts with a firm core in central defense and central midfield. The loss of Michael Babatunde (broken arm) stings a bit, but the Super Eagles can pose a threat on the break with Emmanuel Emenike causing all sorts of problems for the opposition so far.
Getty ImagesPaul Gilham
Luis Suarez’s third moment of madness leaves Uruguay without its principal protagonist. The veteran core will do its best to pull the side through, but Colombia may prove too mobile moving forward.
Getty ImagesClive Rose
Persistence and shape carried this dogged group through the Group of Death. Those factors -- plus a little bit of inspiration from Clint Dempsey -- must drive them in the Round of 16 tie with Belgium, too.
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Credit excitable coach Miguel Herrera and his players for a job well done during Group A play. Their chances of fulfilling their quarterfinal objective may rest on whether Herrera can find an adequate replacement for the suspended José Juan Vázquez before the Round of 16 clash against the Netherlands.
Action ImagesCraig Brough
If only Chile could avoid Brazil in the Round of 16. Brazil has already dumped Chile out at this stage twice in previous tournament. The third time -- particularly with Brazil’s solid structure -- isn’t likely to hold the charm.
Action ImagesPaul Childs
The surprise package of this World Cup to date relied on a firm defensive foundations to push through. A place in the quarterfinals beckons if Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz can continue to supply a spark against Greece on Sunday.
Getty ImagesRobert Cianflone
This young and exciting side adopted a more pragmatic approach during its procession through Group H. It may need to let the likes of Eden Hazard open up the game in order to advance to the quarterfinals.
Getty ImagesIan Walton
This flying side tore through group play without the injured Franck Ribery. Les Bleus must lean on Karim Benzema to supply the goals and rely on their counterattack to march deep into the tournament.
Action Images / ReutersEDGARD GARRIDO
James Rodriguez stood out as one of the top performers during the group stage. He will need to continue to inspire this mobile and effective attacking side to cover for the potential frailty on defense.
Action Images / ReutersPAUL HANNA
Expect the Dutch to continue with their counter-attacking ways. Arjen Robben’s pace and Robin van Persie’s predatory instincts will help, but this side must navigate through a tricky Round of 16 test against a Mexico side likely to match its 5-3-2 shape.
Action Images / ReutersTONY GENTILE
The victory over the United States showed this side at its most ruthless; dominant in possession, mobile in attack and ruthless in defense. Those qualities must persist to cover for the lack of pace in defense.
Action Images / ReutersDARREN STAPLES
All of the hopes hinge on Lionel Messi. If the little maestro is on form through the knockout round, then Argentina can win it. If he drops off, then this group may not have strength in depth to compensate with Sergio Aguero (thigh) absence.
Action ImagesJason Cairnduff
Neymar’s magic carried the host country through the group stage. He will need more support from his teammates in order to lift a sixth title at the Maracana Stadium, but this group remains firm favorites nevertheless.