Brazil v Germany Preview

Semi-Final | Tuesday 08 July | Estádio Mineirão, Belo Horizonte | 22:00




It is almost ridiculous to think, given that these are perhaps the two most iconic sides in World Cup history, that this is only the second meeting between them at the finals.

I will take it that you are still struggling to digest that kernel of information. Less surprising was the stage for that previous meeting. Germany lost to a Ronaldo-inspired Brazil in the 2002 final.

Brazil’s preparations have been hampered by major selection setbacks while the German juggernaut seems to be gathering in momentum.

In what would have been a fitting final, Scolari’s quest for his second World Cup as manager faces stern examination by a German side I have backed from the beginning.

To Win (90mins)
Brazil 17/10
Draw 22/10
Germany 31/20

BRAZIL

The Selecao will be without Neymar on Tuesday night, as the eternal kid of Brazilian football recovers from a fractured vertebra that has seriously disrupted the euphoric sense of serendipity surrounding Brazil this year.

The similarly entrenched figure of Thiago Silva will also miss the game through suspension, leaving Monsieur Scolari with his fair share of tactical alchemy to do.

Dante will almost certainly be the man to fill Silva’s taciturn role, while a way to deal with the Neymar dilemma remains a less clear problem to resolve.

Luis Gustavo and Fernandinho should remain the two holding players while Hulk and Oscar will surely fill part of the attacking diamond behind Fred.

The most logical replacement to me seems to be the diminutive Willian, whose form for Chelsea this past season was about as consistent as any attacking midfielder in the Premier League.

Additionally, the speedy playmaker will be a likely threat to a German defensive system that sometimes seems to lack in pace.

Brazil’s march to immortality could be thwarted by a ruthlessly efficient German side and they will look to draw every morsel of motivation from the home support.

GERMANY

While having not quite reached the fanciful heights of their glorious demolition of Portugal in the first game, Germany have remained a study in consistency and determination.

Thomas Muller has been excellent while the mercurial figure of Mesut Ozil has slowly drifted his way into the consciousness of the tournament as a whole.

The front three of Muller, Gotze and Ozil have remained a remarkably dynamic entity that will pose the Brazilians a huge challenge.

Khedira and Schweinsteiger will be the holding players while the defensive line may have to come to terms with some selection challenges of their own.

Per Mertesacker may be forced to withdraw due to the flu symptoms that have haunted the side through the last few rounds.

Thankfully, this German side has defensive fluidity and will use Boateng and Hummels to create a slightly more athletic central defensive system.

Lahm should finally revert back to being the best right full-back in the world while Howdes continues to impress on the left hand side of defence.

Ozil and Gotze are exactly the kind of crafty engineers who can exploit the foraging runs of Alves and Marcelo.

Germany stand on the precipice of their first final since 2006 and will be desperate to reward an era of extremely talented young players.

Betting PredictionGERMANY 31/20
Brazil’s selection dilemmas have just as much a part to play in my decision as Germany’s metronomic performance level and tactical flexibility. Muller will be influential, drifting his way into awkward spaces for an untested central defensive combination to deal with. Neymar’s pace usually creates space for his fellow teammates, who will probably be at a slight creative loss in his absence. It will still be close, however, with the expected tide of home support there to goad the side on.  Germany should be the side to prevail.  

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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