Monday, July 7, 2014

WC 2014: 8th July. End of the road for Brazil?

Both semi-final match-ups would have been worthy of a final on their own; Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Argentina are four of the best teams in the world, all blessed with fantastic game winners. They all have genuine chances to win the lot. Here's my preview of Tuesday's first semi-final between Brazil and Germany.

Before getting past Columbia in the last round, even the most ardent fans of Brazil would have acknowledged that Germany would be a formidable prospective foe in a semi-final. The Germans have been impressive up to this point unlike the Brazilians who have been found making hard work of their matches. Fast forward the Columbia game and Brazil are now without their 2 best players in Thiago Silva and Neymar. If they have been huffing and puffing until this point, then one has to argue what remains of the chances of the Brazilians against the formidable German armada? I think their chances are very slim indeed.

 By losing Neymar, Brazil have lost their leading light and inspiration up front. Hulk has been enterprising on the left flank but for all his running and storming runs, his effectiveness has been negligible. Mention Fred the striker, and it's hard to see what is his role or worth to this team. I can't think of him making any impact in any game besides getting a dubious penalty against Croatia and a easy header against Cameroon. Besides that, Fred is a non-existent player on the field. I really don't see how they are going to trouble without Neymar.

In losing Thiago Silva, Brazil have lost their fulcrum at the back. He is definitely one of the best defenders in the world and provides the stability from which Brazil can build their attacks. His yellow card against Columbia, synonymous with suspension, was silly; he only has himself to blame and his absence leaves a huge gap in their defence. I mean, guess who's going to have to marshall the back line? David Luiz!! The Chelsea defender (soon to be ex-Chelsea) has scored twice in the tournament, but his tendency to score rather than defend is one of the Premier League's worst-kept secrets; he is just not reliable as a stay-at-home defender.

These absences are a monumental problem for Brazil to overcome. Much has been said about referee favouritism for the hosts; they will need a lot of it to beat the Germans. They have a very good tactical coach in Scolari and their chances to go through will be greatly enhanced if they succeed in getting to the penalty shoot-out.

The Germans were tipped to beat the French in this blog and they showed in that match that they could decisively control a match against the most arduous opponents. They have the capacity to score and it's hard to score against them with Neuer being a massive roadblock in goal. Since the start of the tournament, Germany have shown that they have a great possession game, that they can kill a match once in front, and that they can find a crucial leveller when in need; they are the most complete team in these finals.

Klose or Muller will have a field day with Silva missing at the back. Hummels and his back-line will have to be on their guards against Brazilian set-pieces, which are the most realistic cases for the hosts to break German resistance. Brazil are all-heart but I am afraid that won't be enough to stop the Germans who are as hungry to win the big trophy after 24 years. The dream might very well be over for the hosts after this game; Germany are the better team and should land in the final.

To reach final: Germany

No comments:

Post a Comment