World Cup Semifinals Preview, Predictions: Germany vs Brazil

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer 

The host nation is inching closer to a country-wide Samba party.

Brazil is currently two games from hoisting the World Cup trophy, but first they must get through Germany.

The task isn’t made any easier with the absence of the injured Neymar (broken vertebra) and Thiago Silva, who will miss out after yellow card accumulation — picked up for kicking the ball from Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina while he was attempting to punt.

Brazil’s manager Luiz Felipe Scolari will have some choices to make with his Starting XI. Does he opt for Jo to take Neymar’s place alongside Fred and Hulk in the Brazilian front line?  Or another midfield to compete with a strong German group? With Jo not setting the World Cup alight, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Scolari opt for the latter – he is more pragmatic to begin with.

Replacing Silva, there is Henrique or Dante to choose from. Henrique saw time against Colombia and could be the favorite to take up the place next to David Luiz in the heart of the Brazilian defense.

The Germans may opt for a similar lineup to the one against France. Joachim Low moved Philipp Lahm into the backline, which saw Germany have a much more balanced rearguard than the one with four center backs. If Low does start four center backs, the outside could be an area where Brazil looks to exploit, having an advantage in pace.

Low also has a decision to make in who he starts up top. Miroslav Klose started at forward in the last match, but he may be better served coming off the bench, looking to use fresh legs to create space in the box to add to his long list of World Cup goals. While with Thomas Muller, the Germans don’t have a traditional number nine, it does allow Germany to add one more attacking midfielder, perhaps Mario Gotze.

Brazil will certainly feel the pressure with the nation expecting them to not only make it to the final, but win it.   That may very well effect how the Brazilians play, especially in the opening moments. However, Germany isn’t without their own lofty expectations. They have made four straight Semifinals, but continue to fall short at the final steps on the world’s biggest stage.

Will the Germans feel heartbreak one more time or will it be the Brazilians along with the whole host nation? Whoever ends up reaching the Final should get through in a closely fought, low scoring game.

Prediction: Brazil 1-0 Germany


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