Brazil versus Germany will be a great match. It’s like a final for me. Germany have proven to be a great team at technical and tactical levels, perhaps without great individuals in this tournament but always with all the players adding to group performance.
Brazil will have to show a lot of strength, especially without Neymar. Surely Willian will replace him, but Neymar has been the reference point for their attack.
Brazil’s performance against Colombia was good. They showed that intensity we had not seen yet, motivated by the pressure that comes with playing in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. They could have won it in the first half, when they showed great pace and made Colombia very uncomfortable.
Perhaps the only weakness in that game would be their lack of goals. They created many chances and they should have scored three or four goals in the first half. In the second half, Colombia’s coach Jose Pekerman reacted and put a player in midfield, meaning they had more control. Brazil paid for the intensity of the first half and left many spaces. It is also true that Brazil defended well, Colombia just had a few clear chances, but made them suffer too much.
Thiago Silva is the leader of the defence. The rapport with David Luiz is spectacular and key, which does not happen with Dante for example. His suspension will hurt Brazil against Germany, of course, though maybe Dante’s Bayern Munich experience will help.
And Neymar is the leader of the attack. We have seen that if he doesn’t score, Hulk fails, Oscar fails, Fred fails. It’s another very important absence, although Brazil can say they won these two games without his goals. Despite the importance of Thiago Silva – and Jose Mourinho has said he’s their key player – I’d prefer having Neymar fit.
Dani Alves being left on the bench against Colombia was a bit surprising. We are used to always see him in the starting team, but the coach Luiz Felipe Scolari looked for a more tactical team with Maicon.
If Brazil had been eliminated, it would have had more impact. As it is I do not think that it will have any impact on the player’s mind if he returns to the team in Belo Horizonte.