FIFA World Cup logoFIFA World Cup

Brazil vs. Germany: Early Predictions and Odds for 2014 World Cup Semi-Final

Brazil's coach Luiz Felipe Scolari embraces Brazil's Neymar after the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Brazil and Chile at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Saturday, June 28, 2014. Brazil won 3-2 on penalties. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Frank Augstein/Associated Press
Nate LoopFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2014

No Neymar, no problem?

The absence of Brazil's talismanic striker from the team's World Cup semifinal match against Germany will indeed be a heady issue to deal with, but the Selecao will be better off adopting a confident attitude in order to salvage its World Cup title hopes.

Neymar will be out the remainder of the tournament with a fractured vertebra, as per BBC Sport:

Bad news for Brazil, who will have to take on Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil and the tactical acumen of coach Joachim Low to reach the final.

Here are the opening line odds and my prediction for this World Cup clash between two titans of the global game.

2014 World Cup Brazil vs. Germany Odds and Match Info
DateTime (ET)TVBrazil Win OddsGermany Win OddsDraw Odds
July 84 p.m.ESPN3-29-512-5
Odds: Oddshark.com, match info: FIFA.com

(Note: Opening line odds courtesy of Odds Shark.) 

 

Match Preview and Prediction

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will have to scramble to come up with a strong game plan in time to play Germany. It's rare that a match of this caliber will be determined by a player's absence, but such is the case in this one.

ESPN Stats & Info pointed out Neymar's overall impact at this World Cup:

The 22-year-old wunderkind wasn't just there to finish off plays; he was constantly on the ball in the tournament, a speedy, darting catalyst for many of Brazil's strongest attacks.

Brazil will rely on Hulk, Jo and Fred to lead the line and create its attacks against Germany. Jo might not be the best option, as he's been particularly wasteful in his two appearances in the World Cup. He's completed just 40 percent of his passes in the tournament and failed to get any of his three shots on target against Chile, as per WhoScored.com.

Brazil center back David Luiz has been an unlikely source of goals for his team in this tournament. He's popped up for two in the World Cup—after failing to find the scoresheet in his first 39 games with the Selecao—and could be the team's designated free-kick taker after his stunner against Colombia. Via ESPNFC:

Lost in the aftermath of Neymar's injury is the fact that the Selecao will be without one of its strongest defenders. Brazil center back Thiago Silva will also be absent from this match due to an accumulation of yellow cards. He's been a menacing presence for Brazil in this World Cup, although not quite up to his club form. Silva averaged 1.0 tackle, 1.4 interceptions and 1.6 blocked shots in five tournament matches, as per WhoScored.com.

Mueller has scored four goals for Germany in the 2014 World Cup.
Mueller has scored four goals for Germany in the 2014 World Cup.Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

This could open things up for Germany on the attack. Henrique will be the likely replacement for Silva and will find it difficult to keep up with Mueller's clever runs into space.

Fullbacks Marcelo Vieira and Maicon will have to work hard to close down space on Mesut Ozil and Mario Goetze. Germany has been grinding out wins in this tournament, but they know how to play a beautiful, intricate game when they have the chance.

Grantland's Brian Phillips did give his take on Germany's ruthless efficiency:

Coach Low should commit more men forward, as Scolari will likely rein in Paulinho and Fernandinho to protect the back line while sacrificing some attacking verve. Die Mannschaft fired off just nine shots, three of them on target, in its 1-0 win over France in the quarterfinal, per WhoScored.com.

Low will likely seize the opportunity and go directly at Brazil, hoping to push the pace and notch a goal from the run of play before the opposition has time to regroup.

Oftentimes these hardships bring out the best in teams as they look to one another for inspiration and support in times of crisis. Brazil will still come out with a prideful, aggressive performance for its supporters, but the German football machine doesn't bother with feelings.

Prediction: Germany 3-2 Brazil

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices