Germany take on Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals in Belo Horizonte. Germany will be looking to avenge their 2002 World Cup final defeat to Brazil.
Hosts Brazil will be without their star player Neymar and skipper Thiago Silva. Neymar is out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebrae following a knee to the back. Willian is expected to replace him in the starting XI. Thiago Silva was booked in the 2-1 win against Colombia and Dante will replace him. Luis Gustavo returns from suspension and is expected to replace Paulinho in the midfield. Dani Alves might replace Maicon after he was dropped against Colombia. Brazil boss Scolari insisted they can still lift the cup and praised Neymar.
“We’ve already begun work with the players and we’re aware that in a disaster comes an opportunity to do something different. That’s what we’ll do,” he insisted in an interview with Globo.
“Neymar was our benchmark, was one of our references, because he makes a difference in any team, even Barcelona.
“We’ve lost something we didn’t want to lose [but] I’m very confident and calm.
“We’ve lost one of the best players but we still have the potential to be champions.”
Meanwhile, Germany have a fully fit squad except Shkodran Mustafi who is out of the tournament. After knocking out France out of the tournament, Germany will be considered favourites to reach the finals of the World Cup. Miroslav Klose is expected to be dropped and André Schürrle might replace him in the starting XI. The German back four is likely to remain the same after a solid performance against France. Per Mertesacker will once again start on the bench.Schweinsteiger, Khedira and Kroos are expected to start in the midfield. German coach Joachim Loew insisted the referee must be strong and brave enough to come up with correct punishment.
“I watched the Brazil-Colombia match and there were countless fouls by both teams, fouls where players just jumped into someone else’s back to disrupt play,” Loew told German television.
“These weren’t players going after the ball in battles for possession. They were simply trying to prevent match play.
“There’s precious little left of that traditional Brazilian style of soccer, that artistic style of playing that we all know so well.
“For sure, Brazil still have good technical players. But they’re playing more robustly than any other team here and they have been trying to break up their opponent’s attack that way.
“At the end of the day it’s up to the referee to come up with the correct punishment.”
Probable Starting XI:
Brazil: Cesar, Marcelo, Dante, Alves, Luiz, Gustavo, Fernandinho, Hulk, Oscar,Fred,Willian.
Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Boateng, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos, Schürrle, Ozil, Muller.
Brazil to win 2-1.