Brazil will head into the 2014 World Cup semi-final tie against Germany on Tuesday without two of their key players.
Star forward Neymar is injured and will not play any further part in the tournament, while Thiago Silva is suspended for the match at the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.
The Selecao have not looked particular great so far in the competition and have survived scares on more than one occasion, and losing the duo is a big blow for them.
Of course, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari still has a strong team and, with the home crowd behind them, they are still a force to be reckoned with.
But who will be the bigger miss for Brazil?
According to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, Paris Saint-Germain defender Silva.
However, former Valencia and Spain international midfielder Gaizka Mendieta does not agree with the Portuguese and claims that Neymar’s absence will be the bigger blow.
‘We have seen that if he doesn’t score, Hulk fails, Oscar fails, Fred fails’, the former Middlesbrough midfielder told Goal.com. ‘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’.
Perhaps Mendieta is right. Silva will be replaced by Bayern Munich centre-back Dante, while Chelsea winger Willian is likely to come in for Neymar.
The 22-year-old Barcelona forward has been one of the best players in the tournament, and Willian will have large shoes to fill.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk star is not exactly the same kind of player as Neymar and does not have the same quality, but as he has himself pointed out (click here to read more), having played alongside Oscar for a year at Chelsea, it would not take him much time to get into the groove of things.
Dante has the experience and, despite being 30 years of age, is a very good and capable defender. However, replacing the world’s best centre-back Silva in a World Cup semi-final will be far from easy.
Germany will certainly fancy their chances against Brazil on Tuesday.