Germany beat Argentina on penalties at the same stage in 2006, and Diego Maradona's team will try to reverse the result in Cape Town. Spain was set to play Paraguay in the other quarterfinal at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, with both teams trying reach the semifinals for the first time.
After the Netherlands rallied to beat Brazil on Friday, the Germany-Argentina clash produces another matchup worthy of a final. The game has been preceded by some tough talk by the Germans, as both sides still vividly remember the heated scuffle that took place after the penalty shootout in 2006.
Maradona, however, has been surprisingly quiet in response - perhaps a sign of confidence that his undefeated squad has the necessary attacking power to break down the tactical and physical Germans.
Lionel Messi has recovered from a cold and will be looking to break out of his scoreless slump at the tournament, while Lukas Podolski of Germany also returned to training on the eve of the match.
Spain is playing its fifth World Cup quarterfinal, but has lost all four previous games at this stage. While they are the heavy favorites against the South Americans, the Spaniards have experienced enough World Cup disappointments to know that means little once the game starts.
"Spain has already lived through enough (lessons) in its history at the World Cup and the Euro," midfielder Cesc Fabregas said. "Anything can happen, as we saw with Brazil."
Most of Africa, meanwhile, was still trying to get over Ghana's loss against Uruguay on Friday, after the last African country in the tournament missed a penalty in the final seconds of extra time before losing a shootout.
Ghana was on the verge of becoming the first African nation to reach the World Cup semifinals, but Asamoah Gyan sent his spot kick onto the crossbar after Uruguay striker Luis Suarez had swatted away Dominic Adiyiah's goalbound header with both hands. After the 1-1 draw, the South Americans won 4-2 on penalties.
In a statement, South Africa's governing African National Congress said it was impressed by Ghana's performance, saying it proved Africans were capable of playing at the highest level.
"We are also very confident that the lessons learnt from this tournament will put Africa in a better position for the next World Cup in Brazil," said the ANC, which had urged South Africans to support Ghana after South Africa became the first host nation eliminated in group play.
Away from the pitch, American socialite Paris Hilton had to appear in court in Port Elizabeth late Friday after being arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana following the Brazil-Netherlands game. The court dropped the charges against Hilton after her co-accused, Jennifer Rovero, "acknowledged to be in possession of cannabis, and pleaded guilty," said Brig. Sally De Beer, a spokeswoman for South African police.
Rovero, 31, from New York, was sentenced to a fine of 1,000 rand ($130) or 30 days imprisonment, De Beer said.
A publicist for Hilton said the incident was a "misunderstanding."