Germany stands poised to defeat the Neymar-less host team, Brazil, in the FIFA World Cup Semifinal match Tuesday. Neymar is out with a broken vertebra sustained in the previous match against Colombia. Also missing from the Brazilian line-up will be Thiago Silva. The captain of the host team was suspended after receiving his second yellow card in the match against Colombia, and after a failed appeal, will not be available for the semifinal match.
One might think that Germany is happy to not face Neymar and Silva, they would be mistaken. German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger commented that it is better to play Brazil with all the top players. While a win is what Germany strives for, the competition is important also. The Guardian Liberty Voice (GLV) writer covering Brazil feels that without Neymar on the field as a focal point, Die Manschaft will become an unbalanced team. This may be true when looking at the previous games for Germany. Against Portugal, the German’s scored four goals and held the world’s best player scoreless, as well as the rest of the team. However, in the rest of the group games and the first two knockout rounds, the German’s did not face a world top player, and struggled, winning each game by just a goal and drawing with Ghana. What this writer does not take into account, Brazil is a very good team and while Neymar may be the star, he is a star among many for the host country. Germany will likely focus on Hulk or one of the many other scoring threats in the absence of Neymar and remain fully in balance.
This writer also feels that the likely replacement for Silva will be Bayern Munich stand out Dante and feels this will benefit Brazil in countering the German attack. This is because many of the German starters also play club ball with Bayern. German head coach Joachim Löw likely has already considered this and will unleash the perfect counter for the Brazilian defense. SS Lazio striker Miroslav Klose could be the perfect weapon to disrupt the Brazil defense and allow the Bayern crew to unleash a blitzkrieg of shots. The Brazilian team does not want to give Klose any chance to score and will likely do whatever it takes to stop the German. A goal in the semifinal by the 36-year old would move Klose past Brazilian legend Ronaldo as the career FIFA World Cup scoring leader, and could poise Germany to defeat the host team.
Brazil could pull together and attempt to win the game for their injured superstar. However, the Brazilian team needs to remember that the German team is desperate to end the 24-year drought and add a fourth star to the national team jersey. Germany appears to be clear of the flu bug that hit the squad right before the last game against France, and has only one player out of the tournament with an injury. Looking as efficient as the team did against Portugal to kick off the tournament, Germany should have little trouble downing the battered and bruised Brazil squad.
With a host team that is not at full strength, Germany is poised to defeat Brazil in Tuesday’s semifinal game and move to the final game of the FIFA World Cup. The GLV writer covering Brazil should come to terms that the Brazil team taking the pitch tomorrow is not the Brazil team that might have won the whole tournament. Instead, the team is a shadow of a World Cup champion team. After the match, Germany will be one step closer to hoisting the World Cup trophy into the air.
Read more Guardian Liberty Voice Coverage on the FIFA World Cup Semifinals.
Commentary by Carl Auer