Yesterday, Brazil advanced to the 2014 World Cup semifinals with a 2-1 victory over Columbia. It was an ugly match marred by 54 total fouls, however, the host country was still able to win and keep their title hopes alive.
But if Brazil is to win on their home soil, they’ll have to do it without their best player, Neymar. The 22-year-old striker saw his Cup end early when Colombia’s Juan Camilo Zuniga jumped for a header and delivered a knee to his back. Hours after being carried off on a stretcher in tears, Neymar would learn that he had a fractured vertebrae. And while he’ll be healed in four weeks’ time, this is more than enough to keep the young star out of the remaining World Cup.
Brazil is no doubt a talented team, but they certainly can’t be looking forward to life without Neymar. After all, he scored four goals in five World Cup Finals matches this summer, tying Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller for second thus far. So now the question remains what the Brazilians will do heading into a tough semifinals match against Germany.
Can Anybody fill Neymar’s Cleats?
Could anybody for Brazil match the speed, dribbling skills and shooting of Neymar? Certainly not, which means that this team can’t simply do a lineup shift or bring somebody off the bench to fill such a huge hole. However, they’re going to have to do something different because they aren’t the same squad without Neymar.
They will be given a boost, however, when Luiz Gustavo returns to the lineup. The defensive midfielder had to sit out against Columbia after receiving a second yellow card. As for who’ll provide some offense in Neymar’s absence, Willian Borges da Silva could get the call. He’s got speed, athleticism and dribbling ability, which might pay dividends against the Germans.
Oscar could be playing up top without the team’s superstar available, with Fred and Hulk playing alongside him. This isn’t Brazil’s optimal attacking lineup, but it’s still good enough to compete with Germany and make up for losing one of the world’s best players. This team also gains strength from the fact that they’re playing at home.
Brazil vs Germany Betting Prediction
While we say that the Brazilians still have a chance, they’ll also be dealing with two major handicaps. Besides Neymar’s injury, captain Thiago Silva made a very uncaptain-like move by picking up his second yellow card against Columbia. it was a needless foul and one that will keep the midfielder off the pitch on Tuesday, July 8th.
Meanwhile, Germany will be entering the match with no major injuries or suspensions. Plus, they cruised to a relatively easy 1-0 victory over France in the quarterfinals. Keeping both missing players and fatigue in mind, we like Germany to win 2-1.