Brazil v Germany - Match Preview: Host nation set for difficult tie

Brazil are set for their toughest challenge yet at the 2014 World Cup, as they face Germany in the semi-finals without Neymar and Thiago Silva.

To be played on Tuesday 8th July 2014 at 21:00. Venue: Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte.

Odds: Brazil 7/4, Draw 11/5, Germany 7/4

Preview & injury news

Brazil will be without both Neymar (fractured vertebrae) and Thiago Silva (suspension), who are arguably their two best players. Dante of Bayern Munich will come in for Silva and Hulk will be asked to step up to replace Neymar as Brazil’s leading man.

Germany completely nullified France in a fairly boring and uninspiring quarter-final tie. However, they did show how good they are in midfield and defence in stopping attacks. Mats Hummels was a huge player for them and will likely start alongside Per Mertersacker once again.

Key stats

1) Miroslav Klose is still only one goal away from becoming the World Cup's all-time leading scorer.

2) Brazil are undefeated in 41 straight home matches - their last loss in their own backyard came at the hands of Paraguay in 2002.

3) Luiz Felipe Scolari has never lost a World Cup match with Brazil

Five players to watch

Thomas Muller - Muller will be keen to get back on the scoresheet after failing to score in his last two appearances. Knowing he is now two behind James Rodriguez in the current World Cup top scorers' list will add extra incentive.

Hulk - Having had a disappointing World Cup campaign performance-wise so far, Hulk now needs to step up to try to fill injury-hit Neymar’s huge presence. His country's attacking hope rests on his shoulders.

Miroslav Klose - Two poor performances have led to Klose still needing one goal to surpass Ronaldo in the race to become the World Cup's all-time leading scorer. Only the final would boast a better time to get it than this game.

Dante - Big task now for the Bayern Munich defender. Many think that Thiago Silva is the best defender in the world, and now Dante must take over where he left off in a World Cup semi-final.

Andre Schurrle - Wouldn’t be a big surprise to see the Chelsea attacker replace a very poor Mesut Ozil. Showed he can score on the big stage with his goal against Algeria, but can he do it against the host nation?

Last time they met

Germany 3-2 Brazil - August, 2011.

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