Germans sure to put pressure on hosts’ long unbeaten record.
We have to understand that officials are under as much pressure as players in a World Cup, particularly when the host nation are involved in a World Cup semi-final. But Brazil certainly seem to be enjoying a better rub of the green than their opponents and that surely isn’t right.
There was a dubious penalty award in their opener against Croatia and the free-kick from which David Luiz scored their winner against Colombia was contentious to say the least.
Brazil’s defending has been described as both agricultural and industrial in different quarters in this tournament which, roughly translated, means that they don’t mind dishing out the rough treatment when required.
James Rodriguez, arguably the player on the tournament, got little protection from the referee in Fortaleza so it was perhaps no surprise that the frustrated Colombians took matters into their hands in the closing stages.
Unfortunately, retribution has now robbed Brazil of its best player, Neymar, and there are real fears that the host nation have been struck a fatal blow.
The suspended Thiago Silva will be badly missed against Germany as well as the aforementioned David Luiz and Marcelo look an accident waiting to happen around their own penalty area. Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was lucky not to have seen red against Colombia but it’s up front where concerns are greatest.
Without Neymar, Brazil look decidedly moderate going forward and they are probably going to need something special to get past Manuel Neuer.
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper exudes confidence and the Germans won’t be fazed by playing in front of a hostile crowd in Belo Horizonte.
Mats Hummels was excellent in their quarter-final win over the French and, though there are still question marks surrounding the ability of Jerome Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira to protect their back four efficiently.
Germany have yet to scale the heights they achieved in their first game against Portugal but have progressed nevertheless and look a real threat to Brazil as Thomas Muller won’t give their defence a minute’s rest.
That said, might the Selecao get some key decisions in their favour once again with a 50,000+ strong yellow-clad partisan army screaming in unison?
Extra time may be needed in the Estadio Mineirao and the draw can be backed at 11/5 but Brazil look worth a bet on the handicap with a goal start at 1/2 given they haven’t lost a competitive match on home soil in almost 40 years.
The match kicks off at 9pm UK time on Tuesday, July 8th at the Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte.