World Cup 2014: Day 25 as it happened including Germany’s 7-1 semi-final thrashing of Brazil in Belo Horizonte
WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL FULL TIME SCORE:BRAZIL 1 (Oscar 90')GERMANY 7 (Muller 11', Klose 23', Kroos 24', 26', Khedira 29', Schürrle 69', 79')
7/8/2014 10:21:31 AM
- Die Mannschaft thrash the hosts to reach the World Cup final
- Five German goals in 18 minutes stun the Selecção on the way to record scoreline
- Miroslav Klose becomes the record scorer in World Cup history with his 16th goal
- Dutch striker Robin van Persie is a doubt for Wednesday's semi-final with Argentina
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Independent's live coverage of the 2014 World Cup from Brazil.We've had a two day hiatus from the beautiful game and I'm sure many of you have been walking around not knowing what to do with yourselves over the past couple of days!Well, fear not, it's back today and back with a bang!We have reached the business end of the tournament and would you believe, it's semi-final time already, hasn't it gone quickly!Brazil v Germany is the game today and what a tie this should be! Can the host nation cope without Neymar? Can Brazil cope with Germany's strength? Will the Germans overcome their World Cup woes and go all the way?We'll be here right through to kick-off at 9pm and we have plenty to bring you before then!Remember, get in touch by hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above, by tweeting me @mwilliams060 or emailing me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org!Plenty of ways to get involved and we've got plenty to bring you, so, shall we get started?7/8/2014 10:38:47 AM
Our Poll!We've got another poll for today then and it's a simple one this morning…Who will win the 2014 World Cup?Brazil, Germany, Netherlands or Argentina? Easy question, very difficult answer. Let us know any of your thoughts by hitting the 'Make a Comment' button above and let us know why your favourite is going claim the famous old trophy!7/8/2014 10:43:00 AM
Can Brazil cope without Neymar?All the talk leading up to Brazil's semi-final clash with Germany has been about one man and one man only, Neymar!That tackle and injury during the Colombia game left the host nation without their star player and Neymar will play no part tonight.Brazil's captain Thiago Silva and boss Phil Scolari had their say about the issue in the build-up to tonight's big game.
“We have left that behind when we knew he wouldn’t be with us. At the first opportunity to put people at ease I made the players understand he [Neymar] had done his share. Now it is us who must do our share, myself, the staff and all the Brazilian players."7/8/2014 10:52:22 AM
Brazil bullies!Brazil have been one of the toughest and roughest sides at this World Cup and a far cry from their historic beautiful football at times.Ahead of tonight's game, Bastian Schweingsteiger, Germany's engine-room midfielder, has come out to ask the referee to keep an extra close eye on Brazil's tackling (and fouling) tonight.Chelsea's Oscar has completed the most tackles at the tournament and Germany believe some of those tackles haven't been altogether fair.Read Sam Wallace's preview for this mammoth tie.
I am all for a healthy hardness but some of Brazil’s fouls were over the limit. Brazilians are not only football magicians, hard tackling is part of their game. We have to be careful and so does the referee.1 - Despite playing the most games, #BRA (102) have only met #GER (104) once before at #WorldCup (2002 final). Clash http://t.co/JpqnAsVOv67/8/2014 10:59:58 AM
David Luiz!David Luiz's stunning goal which ultimately proved decisive against Colombia in the quarter-final will be on of the lasting images from this World Cup.But, the defender is not done yet and wants to seize his moment and help Brazil go all the way.The 27-year-old has been good at the finals so far and his free-kick winner last time out has helped the country some what come to terms with the loss of Neymar.Sam Wallace is our man in Belo Horizonte and he talks about what Luiz means to the host nation.
His celebration after his spectacular free-kick against Colombia on Friday night would have been the enduring image of Brazil’s quarter-final victory in Fortaleza, but David Luiz’s moment was destined to be overshadowed by something bigger, and bleaker for his country. That was the injury to Neymar and its aftermath has consumed Brazil ever since with the hand-wringing continuing up to the World Cup semi-final with Germany.7/8/2014 11:07:48 AM
Neymar out!We all know by now that Neymar will not be taking to the field this evening but let's check in with the latest from the Neymar camp.'He was the essence of the team, without him, they are left seeking a miracle', that is the common thought about this Brazil team now but can then surprise a few and really turn up against Germany?Alex Bellos believes it's a tall order.
To lose your best player, the only trump card that the team has to beat its enemies, was not part of anyone’s script. Not even in the most pessimistic of predictionsThere is now the huge question as to who will fill the boots of the boy-wonder?Big Phil Scolari has a headache on his hands and has no doubt lost a few hours sleep over his semi-final team selection.
The question of who will fill Neymar’s shirt will obsess the nation until the semi-final kicks off. Scolari could switch to a 4-4-2 with Jo and Fred, whose names seem redolent of an Accrington works team, up front.And finally on Neymar, could he make a dramatic come-back in the final? His broken vertebra would suggest a rather large no but stranger things have happened.
The notion of painkilling injections enabling Neymar to rise from his bed like Lazarus to play in Sunday’s World Cup final – should Brazil win their semi-final – just over a week after fracturing a vertebra, is as far-fetched as things get in football.7/8/2014 11:23:27 AM
Plenty of great stats about tonight's game and the whole tournament to come throughout the day, here's a few for now!1 - This is the first time in World Cup history that #ARG and #BRA have both reached the semi-finals in the same World Cup. Titans.18 - Nobody has created more chances than Lionel Messi at this World Cup. Graphic. http://t.co/pZHcXLpYmL12 - #NED have been caught offside more often than any other team in a single game in this tournament. Flagged.31 - Brazil's most aggressive performance in a World Cup game (1966-2014). Graphic. http://t.co/5WOhh8uKMNJul. 4, 2014
7/8/2014 11:26:52 AM
Time for Germany to turn up!Germany are always there or there abouts at major tournaments but it is time for them to turn their promise into prizes.Germany are blessed with arguably the best all-round squad in the World Cup and in Thomas Muller, they have a proven goal scorer.The Germans last lifted the trophy in 1990 and since then have had two third-place finishes and a runners-up medal. Not bad by any means but now their country expects them to go one better.
In Belo Horizonte, against Brazil, Germany have the chance to take the step they missed the last two times. This is the moment for the spine of the side – Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger – to assert themselves as experienced, serious, decisive winners. The new generation of young attackers – Toni Kroos, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller – must deliver on what has been, at senior international level, merely promise.7/8/2014 11:41:18 AM
Plenty of stuff going on around the Indysport website today, make sure not to miss a thing!Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: Joachim Loew calls on referee to temper Brazil's 'brutal' approach http://t.co/U2Lp6gPRw0Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 preview: David Luiz seizes the moment to steady Brazil challenge http://t.co/MQlTcAq5HkBrazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 preview: Five reasons why Germany will win http://t.co/y70RoKvtN3World Cup 2014: Juan Zuniga escaped further action AND Fifa refuse to listen to Thiago Silva pleas http://t.co/YPMN6UuDZWThiago Silva ban: Brazil lodge appeal against yellow card that has ruled captain out of Germany semi-final http://t.co/5TLhmqQiGvNeymar out of World Cup 2014: Fifa to blame for thuggery which flattened Brazil forward http://t.co/gAu3Kn1xs87/8/2014 11:43:49 AM
Time for the Germans?We've seen what Brazil have to offer so what about Germany?Frist up, we here at the Independent have come up with five reasons as to why Germany will win tonight.Depleted Brazil, less physical, it's their time, a cagey game and their star player is what they have going for them according to Simon Rice.
Up next, we have Miguel Delaney's preview for tonight's match-up and he believes that it is all falling into place for the ruthless Germans.They began their title challenge with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and if they can get back to that brilliance, Brazil won't be a match for them.
The violently frantic nature of the host’s 2-1 win over Colombia starkly contrasted with the serene ease of Germany’s 1-0 victory over France. It felt like a significant step-up in terms of composure from Jogi Loew’s team. That is also timely, because this semi-final represents a significant and symbolic milestone for the Germans too.And finally, the referees at this World Cup came under intense sructiny at the beginning of the tournament but in recent games they have proformed well.
I hope these really brutal and crude fouls are stopped, or we won't see players like [Lionel] Messi, [Mesut] Oezil, [Mario] Goetze or Neymar, and we'll just see players who go out to destroy. This is a World Cup that's full of dynamism and physical force, but I've seen matches where the limits have been surpassed.7/8/2014 12:01:56 PM
Team news: How about a dose of team news on this Tuesday lunchtime?Brazil will be without their captain Thiago Silva who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last two games. That means that Bayern Munich man Dante will fill in.Luis Gustavo is back from his ban and is likely to return to the starting line-up while Phil Scolari's biggest headache is about who will come in for the injured Neymar. Chelsea's Willian has declared himself fit while Shakhtar Donetsk's Bernard or Atlectico Mineiro's Jo are also possibilities.As for Germany, they have no new injury concerns but Joachim Low must decide who to play in defence. Arsenal's Per Mertesacker was left out of the game against France but could return.7/8/2014 12:14:34 PM
Let's check in with one of our good old previews. Brazil v Germany is coming up live from 9pm this evening. Loads of time to get fully clued up about the game!
Kostas Lianos provides us with this one. Here are his facts and stats about the match-up...
- Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Brazil have faced Germany nine times where they won the lion share of the exchange with five wins and lost two matches.
- Germany made it to their tenth World Cup semi-final in 13 tournaments since 1966. They have made the final six times.
- Lazio striker Miroslav Klose is just one goal away from becoming the all-time top scorer in the history of the competition. If he scores in this match he will surpass Brazil icon Ronaldo, as they currently share the top spot with 15 goals.
- Brazil are undefeated in 41 straight home matches. Their last loss goes back in 2002 where the Selecao fell short to Paraguay.
- Thiago Silva’s seventh minute goal against Colombia was Brazil’s quickest World Cup goal since 2006.
- Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has never lost a World Cup match with Brazil; in fact he was the coach last time the Selecao won the title in 2002.7/8/2014 12:24:55 PM
The path to the semi-finals!Brazil and Germany have had very similar paths to reach the semi-final stage. In the groups, both sides won twice, with one draw and the same goal difference. Germany beat Portugal 4-0 in their opening game while Brazil kicked-off the tournament by beating Croatia 3-1.In the Round of 16, Brazil needed penalties to see of an exciting Chile side. Germany were pushed all the way too and needed extra-time to beat Algeria.At the quarter-final stage, both sides won by a one goal margin, Brazil beating Colombia 2-1 and Germany overcoming France 1-0.Now the two countries meet in the semi-final and it should be a good one! The winner will take on either Argentina or the Netherlands in a mouth-watering final on July 13!7/8/2014 12:37:20 PM
Argentina v NetherlandsEnough of Brazil v Germany for now then, plenty to come about that game later on. Let's take a little look at tomorrow's other semi-final.Argentina come up against the Nertherlands for the right to play either Brazil or Germany in the final.Argentina will be without Angel di Maria and that has forced them to think again. The Real Madrid winger had to go off after just 30 minutes in the game against Belgium and will be a huge miss.Miguel Delaney looks into this game.
As the Argentina squad raucously sang their supporters’ chant following the 1-0 win over Belgium, and banged the dressing-room lockers in rhythm, there was one conspicuous moment’s silence. It was when the news came through that Angel Di Maria’s thigh injury would certainly keep him out of the semi-final against the Netherlands and possibly the final itself, if the team make it any further.7/8/2014 12:50:21 PM
Fate is on Argentina's side!Argentina have not yet fully exploded into life at this tournament but are still in the semi-finals. They are finding ways to win even when they are not at their best and that is the hallmark on champions!Now that Gonzalo Higuain as found his scoring boots, their back-four looks as solid as anyone's and they have that man Lionel Messi, Argentina have a very real chance of going all the way.They even have fate on their side!Ian Herbert looks into how this Argentina side is evolving and if they can real go and win the World Cup!
This is not the greatest Argentina team – certainly not a side with the lustre of 1986 – but the sense grows that it might just be their time. The semi-final against the Netherlands in Sao Paulo falls on the nation’s Independence Day, 48 hours from now, and the blue-and-white invasion down there will need to be seen to be believed.7/8/2014 1:00:48 PM
Preview time again!
Here's Kostas Lianos' preview for tomorrow night's game. Argentina v the Netherlands has the makings of a classic, so sit back, relax and enjoy reading up about the match!
- The sides have faced each other eight times where the Netherlands have won the lion share of the exchange as they picked up four wins and only lost once in 1978. This will be the fifth time those two nations collide at the World Cup.
- Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul saved as many penalties last week against Costa Rica as he has in the past 20 Premier League matches where he had to face a penalty taker.
- Wesley Sneijder has played in 16 World Cup games, more than any other Dutch player.
- Gonzalo Higuain has tied Lionel Messi’s World Cup goal record as he scored his 5th last week against Belgium. The Napoli striker has picked up nine appearances whereas the Barcelona striker has amassed 13 caps.
- This is the first time in the history of the World Cup where both Brazil and Argentina have appeared at the semi-finals at the same time.
- Messi has tied Diego Maradona’s international caps as they have both wore the Albiceleste shirt 91 times. The 27-year-old is just four World Cup goals away from surpassing the legend’s eight.7/8/2014 1:19:58 PM
England, Italy and Germany reign supreme!England and Italy may well have packed their bags weeks ago but they are both still reigning supreme in one aspect of the World Cup.The number of players representing each league across the world is always a point of interest at major tournaments and it's Germany's Budesliga and England's Premier League leading the way.
Despite the impressive showing of the Americas at this year’s World Cup, it seems Europe is still enjoying a certain domination over its continental rivals.
Domestic leagues with the most players left in the World Cup:
1. Bundesliga (Germany) 21 players
2. Premier League (England) 18
3. Serie A (Italy) 13
4. Eredivisie (Netherlands) 10
5. La Liga (Spain) 8
6. Serie A (Brazil) 4
6. Ligue 1 (France) 4
8. Primera A (Argentina) 3
8. Primera Liga (Portugal) 3
10. Premier League (Ukraine) 2
10. Super Lig (Turkey) 2
12. Premier League (Russia) 1
12. MLS (United States) 1
12. Liga MX (Mexico) 1
12. Championship (England) 17/8/2014 1:30:13 PM
Let's take a look at the headlines from the World Cup today! Brazil v Germany kicks-off at 9pm.1). Brazil have used a psychiatrist to get over the hurt of losing Neymar to that 'coward's tackle', reveals Thiago Silva.2). Joachim Low has criticised the referees ahead of tonight's clash and says that the officials must stop 'brutal' Brazil.5). And finally, our match preview for tonight's game.7/8/2014 1:40:20 PM
As ever, there are heaps and heaps of stories to enjoy over on the Indysport's website, dive right in!Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 preview: David Luiz seizes the moment to steady Brazil challenge http://t.co/MQlTcAq5HkBrazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 preview: Five reasons why Germany will win http://t.co/y70RoKvtN3Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: Joachim Loew calls on referee to temper Brazil's 'brutal' approach http://t.co/U2Lp6gPRw0World Cup 2014: Juan Zuniga escaped further action AND Fifa refuse to listen to Thiago Silva pleas http://t.co/YPMN6UuDZWNeymar out of World Cup 2014: Fifa to blame for thuggery which flattened Brazil forward http://t.co/gAu3Kn1xs87/8/2014 1:42:57 PM
Not a bad place to play football, Brazil is looking glorious today!7/8/2014 1:49:56 PM
Plenty going on around the Twittersphere!THIS is where the magic will happen tonight and #GER kick out World Cup hosts #BRA. Pic by @YesWeCrann #SLWC http://t.co/vLvScddcMXNo team has picked up more yellow cards than #BRA in this World Cup2 - Only two of the eight teams to win the #WorldCup have failed to win it at least once on home soil - Spain & Brazil. Pressure.Here's five reasons why #BRA will beat #GER tonight #WorldCup http://t.co/jhSIG4QoPA http://t.co/hYtY88ZG0f7/8/2014 1:56:10 PM
Brazil get counselling!Neymar's injury has rocked Brazil to the bone.Their star player will not take to the field this evening but his absence may have had an even worse effect on the team than realised.The Brazil squad have received counselling to come to terms with their number 10's injury but now they must forget about Neymar and focus on trying to overcome Germany this evening.They are also without captain Thiago Silva through suspension and Sam Wallace reports from Belo Horizonte about what effect the lack of these two players will have on their squad.
With Regina we didn’t just speak about Neymar, we spoke about all the things related to football so that we are at ease on the pitch. If we are not at ease things won’t happen the way we want them to do. Neymar was something we all spoke about a lot so we could feel at ease. We all said what was on our minds.7/8/2014 2:06:15 PM
Five things!We here at the Independent have drawn up five reason as to why Brazil or Germany will win tonight.It's a tough one to call either way and hard to know who to support this evening. Check out the reason why each side will win tonight and pick a side.Brazil have plenty of things on their side. Luiz Felipe Scolari, home advantage, team unity, German's history and the past are all on their side.As for Germany, they can call upon depleted Brazil, it's their time, less physical, a cagey game and their star player.
Who do you think will come out victorious this evening?7/8/2014 2:27:09 PM
Tonight's stage!Brazil v Germany will take place inside the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. It will be the sixth and final World Cup game to be played there.Brazil's Round of 16 penalty victory over Chile was inside this stadium whereas this will be Germany's first visit to Belo.England fans will know it well as it was the scene of their goalless draw with Costa Rica. The stadium, which hold a touch over 58,000 fans, has also seen victories for Colombia, Belgium and Argentina.Tonight's game is likely to see the largest attendance at the stadium but who will emerge triumphant tonight?7/8/2014 2:40:08 PM
Talking of stadiums!While we're on the subject of stadiums, Simon Hart asks what the legacy will be after the 2014 World Cup is all said and done.Legacy is always the buzz-word whenever a major sporting event roles around, London 2012 saw it and now Brazil is coming under the same scrutiny too.Here, we ask what now for the 'venue of venues' that is Salvador's Arena Fonte Nova.
Had things worked out differently, Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova could have provided us with the backing track to the 2014 World Cup. The Brazilian musician Carlinhos Brown is a son of the north-eastern city and, inspired by the impact of the South African vuvuzela, he devised a plastic instrument called the caxirola for fans to create a distinctive sound at World Cup matches. The plan was aborted, however, when fans started chucking the instruments at players during a Bahia-Vitoria derby last year.7/8/2014 2:46:07 PM
Some of the biggest stars from the World Cup are lining up big money moves! Check out all the latest transfer news and gossip over on the Indysport's website!Arsenal are set to sign Mathieu Debuchy, but who will compete with him for a first-team place? http://t.co/hS0CwVbdQq http://t.co/HVIe8xYab5Suarez transfer could be delayed as Liverpool hold out for full £75m payment
http://t.co/u5LCVv8hFD http://t.co/CUCiafVt5VFormer Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero joins Manchester City http://t.co/ddtFTfVwUP #mcfc http://t.co/x6yF1MFq3ZBarcelona shirts with 'Suarez 9' printed on the back go on sale in Spain http://t.co/43rGkWQ9dw #LFC http://t.co/IihRaB8fSvToni Kroos gives hope to Man Utd after announcing his future is not yet decided #MUFC
http://t.co/nPZFTxKkse http://t.co/tEwRpnBoqc7/8/2014 2:50:19 PM
Magic spray!One of the best things to come out of this World Cup has been the referee's use of vanishing foam to mark out the ten-yard free-kick wall.It's such a simple idea but has been a true revelation in Brazil and now it will make it's appreanace in next season's Champions League.Check out exactly how here!
The man who invented the vanishing spray that has been used at the World Cup said Uefa will use it in the Champions League for the first time next season - and hopes it will be adopted in the Premier League.7/8/2014 2:54:20 PM
GOOOAAALLL!!It's 4o'clock so how about something that's a bit of a laugh?There's nothing quite like hearing a Colombian or Mexican commentator screaming 'Goooaaalll' at the top of his lungs after his country smash home a winner!Turn up your speakers in the office and get everyone shouting goooaaalll!
Other nations are famed for their overly-excitable commentators. Viral videos of should-be-professional experts losing the plot and shouting GOOOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLL are one of the many joys that comes with a World Cup.7/8/2014 2:59:39 PM
Napoli come to Zuniga's aidCamilo Zuniga has come under severe criticism for his challenge on Neymar which has seen Brazil's boy-wonder ruled out of the rest of the World Cup.But, his club side, Napoli, have jumped to defend their man.
Napoli are sorry for the accident that occurred that will prevent Neymar from playing in the semi-final against Germany.
For the Brazilian champion we send our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
At the same time, the club expresses its support for Zuniga , who has been subjected to fierce criticism and threats of all kinds, for a foul in play that was not malicious but unfortunate in its consequences.7/8/2014 3:16:56 PM
Loew's concerns!While Brazil are feeling hard done by over the injury to Neymar, rightly or wrongly so, Joachim Loew has expressed his fears about Brazil's physicality.The German boss has called upon tonight's official to keep an eye on Brazil's 'brutal' approach and to punish them should they cross the line.
Loew started his press conference by saying that he was “awfully sorry” to hear about the injury to Neymar whose third vertebrae was fractured in the match in which 54 fouls were committed, 31 of them by Brazil. However, he made no attempt to disguise his concern about his opponent’s approach in what appeared a concerted effort by the Germans to put pressure on the referee.7/8/2014 3:28:24 PM
Be afraid, be very afraid!Is this the return of the vuvuzela? A shop in Belo Horizonte is selling the dreaded horns…7/8/2014 3:34:33 PM
Germany in Brazil!Brazil have the home advantage right? Well, not over the whole of the country. One certain corner of the host nation will have a distinctive German feel to it this evening.The people of Pomerode, just south of Rio, will be cheering on the Germans tonight.Found out why here!
On Tuesday afternoon the six football-crazy Müller brothers – Arno, Heinz, Horst, Rubens, Udo and Ralf – will sit down with their wives and children to watch Brazil vs Germany in the World Cup semi-final. They will be wearing football shirts coloured in the black, red and yellow of the German flag. They will be speaking German, drinking beer and cheering on the Fatherland.7/8/2014 3:39:23 PM
Sabella to complete his football journey?Argentina's manager Alejandro Sabella has the to chance tomorrow to complete his varied and interesting football journey.It is a career that has taken him from South Yorkshire to possibly the World Cup final and pretty much everything in-between!
Alejandro Sabella will carry the hopes of a nation and a corner of South Yorkshire on his shoulders as he attempts to lead Argentina into the World Cup final.Netherlands vs Argentina World Cup 2014: A statistical preview to the semi-final http://t.co/7Au7inEMIA7/8/2014 4:02:45 PM
The Dutch side have been in training today over in Sao Paulo!7/8/2014 4:15:15 PM
Have a good look at these head-to-head break downs of where the game will be won and lost for the game this evening.7/8/2014 4:19:52 PM
Does Lahm hold the key?In Philipp Lahm, Germany have one of the best players in the world right now. The Bayern Munich man is as good in central midfield as he is at full-back but this quality does give Jogi Low a headache for selection.Does he play in holding midfield or defence?Lahm has played both positions over the course of this World Cup and now Germany need to find his best place as he could be the solution to their frailties.Either way, Germany's captain is sure to be a key man as to whether they are to make it into the final.Miguel Delaney writes what he believes Low should be with Lahm.
What was the reason for the greater defensive solidity? Was it Jogi Löw finally removing Philipp Lahm from defensive midfield and restoring him to right-back? Somewhat understandably, all of the players talked generally about the overall strength of the team, with no one wanting to getting into any debates about the manager’s decisions.7/8/2014 4:32:46 PM
Fifa to blame?A lot of the talk leading up to tonight's game is about the referees and officials.Brazil produced arguably the dirtiest proformace of the World Cup against Colombia in the last round.But, Brazil claim that Fifa are to blame for any supposed thuggery that they got away with but, of course, Neymar did not.Their talisman was flattened in that game and most of Brazil has come out to criticise the officials for no action being taken against Camilo Zuniga.
The referees in Brazil have clearly been given instructions to let the game flow and to limit red and yellow cards. Scolari took advantage of this leniency in the quarter-final against Colombia, instructing his players to neutralise the threat of James Rodriguez, hitherto the tournament’s star, by roughhouse methods.7/8/2014 4:43:00 PM
Mesut Ozil!Many people have been quick to criticise Mesut Ozil over the past few months in both his Arsenal shirt and his German one too.Fans of both his club and country haven't seen the best of Ozil recently but, as Kit Holden reports, there is more to him then meets the eye.The German midfielder has scored once this tournament and played a key role in Low's side but still hasn't claimed many plaudits.Have a look what the 25-year-old does offer.
If you have nothing better to do this evening, watch Ozil closely. For ninety minutes. I bet you his 50 million Euro price tag that you will see him doing things you never thought he did. Affecting the game in a way you otherwise would have missed. Quietly. In the shadows.7/8/2014 4:52:39 PM
Look away now Germany fans, Shaheen the Camel has picked Brazil for the win!7/8/2014 4:57:53 PM
Check out some head-to-head analysis for tomorrow night's semi-final between Holland and Argentina!7/8/2014 5:01:21 PM
Holland v ArgentinaBefore we turn our attention completely to tonight's semi-final, let's have a look at tomorrow night's game.Argentina have been giving a huge boost by the news that Sergio Aguero has been declared fit for the match.
Sergio Aguero has been declared fit by Argentina's team doctor, and looks likely to return to the starting line-up for his side's semi-final clash with the Netherlands.The news from Aguero is especially welcome given the fact that Angel di Maria is out of the game with Holland after picking up an injury against Belgiun in the last round.
As the Argentina squad raucously sang their supporters’ chant following the 1-0 win over Belgium, and banged the dressing-room lockers in rhythm, there was one conspicuous moment’s silence. It was when the news came through that Angel Di Maria’s thigh injury would certainly keep him out of the semi-final against the Netherlands and possibly the final itself, if the team make it any further.And, don't forget our match preview for tomorrow's massive semi-final clash!7/8/2014 5:14:19 PM
Belo Horizonte!The weather over in Belo Horizonte isn't too bad for the Germans tonight. At the moment there's could cover over the Estadio Mineirao and a fine 25C temperature.No blaming the conditions for the Germans then!Kick-off to tonight's semi-final tie is just over two and half hours away!7/8/2014 5:20:39 PM
Team news: A reminder of the team news for tonight, all the starting XIs coming up as soon as they are announced!Brazil will be without their captain Thiago Silva who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last two games. That means that Bayern Munich man Dante will fill in.Luis Gustavo is back from his ban and is likely to return to the starting line-up while Phil Scolari's biggest headache is about who will come in for the injured Neymar. Chelsea's Willian has declared himself fit while Shakhtar Donetsk's Bernard or Atlectico Mineiro's Jo are also possibilities.As for Germany, they have no new injury concerns but Joachim Low must decide who to play in defence. Arsenal's Per Mertesacker was left out of the game against France but could return.1 - Despite playing the most games, #BRA (102) have only met #GER (104) once before at #WorldCup (2002 final). Clash http://t.co/JpqnAsVOv67/8/2014 5:27:53 PM