BRAZIL VS. GERMANY
Estadio Mineirao (Belo Horizonte) | Tue, July 8 | 17:00 local time
The first of the two semifinals to determine who will be in this year's World Cup final. Brazil are chasing their 6th overall win and looking to erase painful memories of the 1950 Maracanazo while Germany are looking for their 4th and first in 24 years, after last winning it in Italia 1990.
The big team news obviously comes for the Selecao, with captain Thiago Silva suspended and their star player Neymar being out for the rest of the tournament with a fractured vertabrae. Luiz Gustavo returns from suspension. Germany are only missing Shkodran Mustafi through injury.
Ramires, Alves, Hulk, Jo, Cesar, Howedes, Lahm, Khedira, and Schweinsteiger are all one booking away from a suspension.
Prediction: Whilst I do feel that Silva and Neymar's absences could still unify the Brazilians to try and prove a point without them even in front of their passionate crowd, the way the team has played up to now in this tournament doesn't inspire much confidence that they could win. Football does work in mysterious ways sometimes and it very well is still possible that they go on to win this game and the cup in the end, but I'll go with a narrow German win here, just because they look like they have found the right formula and are hitting their stride at just the right moment.