FIFA World Cup 2014 – Tuesday 08 July 2014
The only fixture between these sides previously in a World Cup tournament was in the 2002 Final held at the International Stadium in Yokohama. The Brazilians triumphed with two goals from Ronaldo scored in the 67th and 79th minutes as the country won their fifth World Cup.
For the hosts the big question is how they cope without the injured Neymar and the suspended Thiago Silva. It might allow others to step up to take centre-stage or could leave Brazil without inspiration and leadership. If it does the Germans will look to exploit this weakness. Germany coach Joachim Loew has not been afraid to change his starting line-up and formations during this tournament.
The Quarter- Finals were probably the first stage of these Finals where the more dour ‘cat and mouse’ approach to games was more evident. Granted there were some grandstand finishes and drama, such as in the Netherlands v Costa Rica game, but the Germany v France/Argentina v Belgium fixtures with one goal victories were on the whole uninspiring. Is this because there is more at stake in these fixtures or are teams beginning to feel the exertions of the conditions in South America? It’s probably a combination of the two.
As much as I’d love tonight to be a thrilling 4-3 exhibition of attacking football, I really can’t see that happening. For me it’ll be another game settled by a single goal. I would love Germany to make it through so that I’ll have my sweepstake team in the Final and will hopefully the first leg in ensuring a repeat of the 1974 World Cup Final.