Brazil v Germany – Full Time For The SelecaoStats
Brazil v Germany
A true heavyweight battle is in store for the first semi-final of the World Cup with Brazil and Germany boasting eight titles between them.
Brazil edged past Colombia 2-1 in a scrappy contest – in every sense of the word – on Friday to reach the last four on home soil. Thiago Silva gave his side the lead when he bundled home from a poorly defended corner in the opening ten minutes while his partner at centre-half, David Luiz, struck a magnificent free-kick at the mid point of the second half to double their advantage.
James Rodriguez confirmed his status as one of the stars of the tournament when he held his nerve to score a late penalty and go out in front of the top goalscorers charts with his sixth of the competiton but Colombia couldn’t get a second to force extra-time. The hosts have only really impressed in one game – against group whipping boys Cameroon – although they have won 13 and drawn only one of their last 14 games.
After never being in any real trouble despite a tough group the Germans have progressed without a great deal of fuss. Joachim Low’s side haven’t looked back since a 4-0 thumping of Portugal in their first game at this World Cup so it’s little surprise to see Germany feature in yet another semi-final; a record-breaking fourth in a row.
Central defender, Mats Hummels, headed the only goal of the game in their quarter-final victory over France on Friday while Ghana remain the only side to score against Low’s men inside 90 minutes in any of their five games at the tournament to date, while Algeria’s goal came in injury time at the end of extra-time when the Germans were already two goals to the good.
The USA were the last team to defeat Germany – in a friendly last June – with their unbeaten streak stretching back over a year and now extending to 16 games.
Bayern Munich striker, Thomas Muller, has scored four of his country’s ten goals in this World Cup.
Brazil’s hopes have taken a huge double blow ahead of this tie, with possibly their two best players – and certainly their most influential – out, as Thiago Silva picked up a second yellow card of the competition against Colombia with Neymar confirmed as out for the rest of the tournament after suffering a fractured vertebra in his back which will see him sidelined for bout six weeks.
The flu bug which had affected as many as seven German players in the build-up to their meeting with France has passed and so Low has only one major injury concern with Sampdoria defender Shkodran Mustafi suffering from a hamstring problem. Germany have nobody suspended.
Germany came out on top in the most recent clash between these sides back in August 2011 when they got the better of a five-goal thriller thanks to goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle, with Robinho and Neymar replying for Brazil.
Oddly enough, given their mutual successes over the years, these sides have only ever met once in the World Cup, with Ronaldo grabbing both goals in the 2002 final to earn a fifth crown for his country. The Brazilians also have a better record over the years with five wins to the Germans’ two.
There’s absolutely nothing between these sides in the match betting market with both priced at 9/5 to win in normal time or 10/11 to qualify for the final.
I’d have to lean towards Germany as the loss of the Selecao’s two best players really does hand the impetus to their opponents…
…and they should have enough to deal with Brazil’s weak alternatives to their main men. Muller is an obvious but more than reasonable call to score first at 5/1 or anytime at 11/8.