Lahm must return to German defence to stop French
Our analyst tells GARY LIM that for Germany to stop the French attack, Loew must play Lahm in defence
ROUND OF 16
(Andre Schuerrle 92, Mesut Oezil 120)
(Abdelmoumene Djabou 120+1)
Why do you think Germany had to slog so hard for this win?
HAMANN: Germany's balance in midfield wasn't right.
By putting Philipp Lahm in the centre of the park, coach Joachim Loew had to do without one of the best fullbacks in the world.
Lahm has played as a defensive midfielder for perhaps a season, but that's nothing compared to what he has been doing as a fullback for so many years.
His positional sense as a midfielder is poor. Time and again in the first half, he was found out by the opposition.
When he was moved back to his more familiar spot at right back, Germany's shape immediately improved.
Their lack of pace in defence was also evident.
Per Mertesacker and Jerome Boateng, in central defence, needed protection from their teammates throughout the match.
Loew must hope that Mats Hummels recovers in time and take his place in the back four for their clash with France.
Who are the favourites in the Germany-France clash, and why?
France, of course.
The number of times Manuel Neuer had to come out of the box to thwart the Algerians was very worrying. He saved the Germans, in fact.
But, with Neuer playing so high up, it takes only one mistake, or one poor judgment, for France to pounce.
That's a big risk Germany are taking.
I hope Loew will switch Lahm back to defence, and Hummels recovers from flu in time.
France have the players to open up any defence, let alone Germany's.
Olivier Giroud will give the German defence a hard time.
And they have excellent individuals such as Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann, who are in great form.
Griezmann, in particular, changed the game for France in their 2-0 win over Nigeria, after he came on as a substitute. Right now, I don't see Germany standing a chance against France.
Mario Goetze didn't have a particularly-good game, did he?
He didn't have a good season at Bayern Munich, and it showed in this match.
After Loew replaced him with Andre Schuerrle at half-time, Germany's attack had more punch.
That turned out to be a good switch, because Schuerrle scored the crucial opening goal.
I thought Mesut Oezil did okay, too.
Did Algeria surprise you with their performance?
Yes, they did. The way they passed the ball out of defence was very impressive.
At times, they looked exceptional.
They kept their shape and discipline, and counter-attacked with ferocity.
They didn't make Germany look like the favourites they were supposed to be in this game.
- Dietmar Hamann has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City. He won the Bundesliga in 1994 and 1997, and the treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup with Liverpool in 2001, besides the Champions League in 2005. He has 59 international caps for Germany and played in the 2002 World Cup final.