Neither Germany nor Argentina put in the performances they were hoping for in their Group A openers, though at least La Albiceleste got the result they wanted despite the quality on display from Honduras and the torrential downpour in Abuja. As for Germany, they played the perfect match for the first hour against Nigeria, but after that the European champions allowed the hosts to claw their way back from a daunting three-goal deficit.
With the two title hopefuls coming face to face in a match befitting the final itself, Germany know they can no longer afford any lapses and will be looking for a win to boost their qualification hopes. Their South American opponents are in a much healthier position but will be desperate for a victory that would take them a major step closer to the Round of 16.
With both teams making no secret of their tournament ambitions, Tuesday's encounter will say much about their relative potential. The Argentinians have already won without convincing while their rivals displayed some genuine talent without coming away with a victory. The task now for the South American challengers will be to combine attractive play and their knack for grinding out results, which means they will need to be far more ruthless in front of goal than they were against Honduras. Sergio Araujo and Daniel Villalba will undoubtedly enjoy fewer chances against Germany but will need to put them away.
Germany coach Marco Pezzaiuoli, for his part, will be urging his charges to stay concentrated for the full 90 minutes in order to avoid the kind of uncharacteristic collapse they suffered against the hosts. It will also be intriguing to see whether the Mannschaft have recovered from their efforts with ten men for the last half an hour against Nigeria, particularly as they will have to make do without Robert Labus following his red card against the hosts.
1 - Argentina and Germany have only met once before in a FIFA U-17 World Cup, during the inaugural edition in China in 1985. The two sides came away with a 1-1 draw, before goal difference took Germany through in second on their way to finishing as runners-up. Argentina finished third in the section and were eliminated.
"We've already got three points, but that doesn't mean we're close to qualification. We need to work with the same seriousness in the next match against Germany and all the others after that. Our goal is to win this World Cup, which is the only one Argentina have never won." Jose Luis Brown, Argentina coach
"It's a shame we couldn't hold on for the win. Now we mustn't let our heads drop but keep believing in our strength. If we stick to what we do best, it will be very difficult for our opponents." Reinhold Yabo, Germany midfielder and captain