Football

KEY BATTLES

KHEDIRA V MESSI

Germany defender Benedikt Hoewedes, who helped subdue Cristiano Ronaldo in the 4-0 group-stage win over Portugal, said it was important to swarm Lionel Messi and avoid 
one-on-one situations. Defensive midfielder Sami Khedira will play a key role for this.

HUMMELS V HIGUAIN

Argentina forward Gonzalo Higuain pulls defenders out of position to open space for Messi to thread through-balls to Ezequiel Lavezzi or run at the defence.

Germany centre back Mats Hummels will make sure Higuain doesn't get any space.

MUELLER V ROJO

Apart from his speed and clinical finishing, Thomas Mueller's secret is his instinctive understanding of space and the forward is invariably in the right place at the right time.

Argentina left back Marcos Rojo is expected 
to keep a close eye on the German.

KROOS V MASCHERANO

Toni Kroos is one of Germany's most creative players, a ruthless finisher and a physically imposing presence.

The Real Madrid-bound midfielder is set to have a tight tussle with Barcelona's Javier Mascherano. - Reuters.

World Cup