Brazil take on Germany in the first World Cup semi-final tonight, but the Selecao will miss Neymar and Thiago Silva in their midst.
Time flies quickly in Brazil, the World Cup is already down to 4 matches, and the first of the semi-finals is scheduled for tonight. The hosts Brazil will be taking on Germany for a place in the final. The Selecao are no longer the favorites to win the World Cup at online sportsbooks in Germany, after they’ve lost Neymar to injury.
Looking back at the history, the teams have met 21 times in official matches before today. Brazil are leading with 12 wins, 5 draws, and only 4 defeats to Germany. The Selecao have also outscored the Germans with 39 goals in total compared to 24 for Die Manschaft. But today is a new page and things are much different.
The road to the semi-finals
The first World Cup semi-final will see Brazil battling it out with Germany
• Online sportsbooks in Germany are full of betting offers on the match
• Germany are looking to avenge their loss to Brazil in the final of 2002 World Cup
• The winner of tonight’s semi-final will meet the victor in Argentina v Netherlands match
Brazil are certainly looking to win their record 6th World Cup title, and to do so at a home tournament is of course double the pleasure. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men have overpowered Colombia in the quarters to get here, but lost Neymar to back injury. Not only is their main striking force ruled out of the World Cup, Thiago Silva has also picked up a suspension and will not be participating in the semi against Germany.
The Germans have delighted their fans and punters betting under German gambling laws with what seemed to be an easy win over France. Joachim Low’s men took an early lead with Mats Hummels’s header and never let it got until the final whistle, practically dismantling the French offense with some clever defending and brilliant goalkeeping by Manuel Neuer.
The Germans are of course 3-time winners, and 4-time runners up, and will certainly be looking to win the trophy they’ve last held in 1990. They have made it to the semis four times in a row now, which shows great consistency. The match against Brazil is widely regarded as an opportunity for revenge after a loss to the Selecao in 2002 final.
Joachim Low will be looking to take full advantage of Neymar’s absence, and of Thiago Silva’s suspension, who played a crucial role in Brazilian defense so far. However, Germany have been struck by the flu prior to the quarter, and although the majority of them seem fine now, some concerns still remain, making the job of those who bet on sports in Germany a bit more difficult.
Comments from the coaches
Here’s what the main man for Brazil, Luiz Felipe Scolari, had to say: “We are in a situation that is slightly difficult for the Germany match but we have great players. If everything has to be changed then we’ll do that and I think we will have a great game.”
German manager, Joachim Low, also commented the upcoming match: “They will have a home advantage. The South Americans are fighting for their lives here. They’re playing more robustly than any other team here. There’s little left of that traditional Brazilian style of football. At the end of the day, it’s up to the referee to come up with the correct punishment.”
Betting on the game and the teams’ form
Brazil have been showing decent form at this World Cup, may be not as strong as everyone expected, but capable nonetheless: W D W W W including their last 2-1 win over Colombia in the quarters. As for Germany, they have exactly the same statistics: W D W W W including the 1-0 quarter-final success over France.
Of course the news of Neymar out of the World Cup with a back injury caused a lot of trouble for fans and Luiz Felipe Scolari. FIFA has also denied Brazil’s appeal against Thiago Silva’s suspension, so the captain will not help the team in the semi-final. The most probable line-up for the Selecao will include: Cesar, Alves, Dante, Luiz, Marcelo, Fernandinho, Gustavo, Hulk, Oscar, Willian, and Fred.
Germany have lost Shkodran Mustafi to thigh injury and Joachim Low will also have to do without Per Mertesacker still fighting the flu, but there are no suspensions at least. Experts agree that the manager will most probably include these players in the starting eleven: Neuer, Lahm, Hummels, Boateng, Khedira, Howedes, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Kroos, Gotze, and Muller.
The semi-final contest is expected to be a very hard-fought one. Bet365 had difficulties picking the favorite, but in the end the hosts received better odds of 2.70 compared to a line of 2.87 for Germany and 3.25 for the draw after 90 minutes.
Due to the expected tightness of the game, there will be not a lot of goals most probably. The 1-1 draw is what’s expected after 90 minutes with 6.00 odds from Bovada. 0-0 result will pay at 7.00, while 1-0 for Brazil will deliver 6.50 odds, and their 2-0 success will pay at 11.00 odds. Germany’s 1-0 win pays at 7.00 odds, while the 2-0 score their way is priced at 12.00.
Without Neymar, the situation with first goalscorer odds is clear: Muller gets 6.50 odds, followed by Fred at 8.00. Miroslav Klose has already caught up with Ronaldo on all-time World Cup goals, and will certainly be looking to beat that record. The German veteran is priced at 8.00 odds to find the back of the net first and at 3.75 to score at any time.
Hulk and Gotze get 8.50 and 9.00 respective odds to put their names on the scoreboard first. Schurrle and Podolski get equal lines of 9.50 to score first tonight. Jo and Ozil are priced equally at 10.00 odds to find the back of the net first.