World Cup Schedule 2014: Semifinal Fixtures, Odds and Predictions

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World Cup Schedule 2014: Semifinal Fixtures, Odds and Predictions
David Vincent/Associated Press

The World Cup quarter-finals did not fail to live up to its billing as the last four countries of the tournament were decided.

Home nation Brazil overcame the potential threat of Colombia, defeating their South American counterparts, 2-1.

A blockbuster free-kick by David Luiz decided the match, but the game was marred by a competition-ending injury to Neymar, who suffered a broken vertebra.

The Selecao will now face Germany after Joachim Low's side overcame European rivals France, 1-0.

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

In the other quarter-finals, Lionel Messi's Argentina cruised past Belgium as a Gonzalo Higuain goal won the game 1-0, and the Netherlands could only edge out a brave Costa Rica team on penalties to proceed to the semis. 

Here are the latest odds for the upcoming semifinal matches, to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and some predictions for the games:

 

2014 World Cup Semi-Finals - Odds and Predictions
Match Odds Home Win Odds Away Win Odds Draw Predicted Score
Brazil v Germany 3-2 9-5 23-10 1-2
Netherlands v Argentina 2-1 7-5 21-10 0-1

OddsShark.com

 

Brazil vs. Germany

Nelson Antoine/Associated Press

From the day that the group stages were drawn for the 2014 World Cup, a semifinal featuring Brazil and Germany was always the most fancied, and most likely.

Brazil have had the weight of a nation on their shoulders for months in the build-up to the competition, and it has shown in their play, which has been industrial and fractured. 

In stark contrast, it has been a typically Germanic performance by Low's side, who have progressed through the tournament with relative ease, only really finding the challenges of African sides Ghana and Algeria as a problem.

Now they face a Brazilian side that must survive not only without Neymar but also their captain Thiago Silva, who is unavailable due to suspension. 

Henry Winter of The Telegraph tweeted as the news of Neymar's loss was felt by the Brazilian public.

He said:

Fabrizio Bensch/Associated Press

It is a huge task for Brazil to beat a team as efficient as Germany without their two most important individuals and the task at hand does not look positive for them.

Unlike Brazil, Germany seem to have an extra gear still to find, and if they achieve that on Tuesday it will be a ruthless end for the Selecao.

The threat of Thomas Mueller is a different yet potent one than that which was posed by Colombia's James Rodriguez in the previous round to Brazil, but the German ace is having a stunning competition.

He will have overtures of winning the Golden Boot as he sits on four goals for the tournament, per WhoScored.com, just two behind current leader Rodriguez. 

Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

Without Silva in their ranks, Mueller will pull and push the Brazil defence all over the pitch, and David Luiz will find it hard to deal with his work-rate and movement.

The match should be one step too far for a Brazil team who lack the real depth of champions that is needed to prevail.

Germany's side is full of winners, and individuals who have lifted trophy after trophy in their club careers. They will want to transfer that success onto the international stage now and see their country lift the famous gold accolade.

If they play their best football, Brazil will not be able to win the match. The Brazilians were overly aggressive at times in their game against Colombia and expect to see these rough house tactics again in the semi-finals.

Prediction: Germany win 2-1

 

Netherlands vs. Argentina

Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press

The semi-finals are blessed to have four amazing teams at the final stage before the Maracana final, and as Brazil battle Germany, Lionel Messi will be taking on Arjen Robben as Argentina try and eliminate the Netherlands.

Both talents have had great tournaments so far, and their efforts on Wednesday will probably dictate which side makes it to the final in Rio de Janeiro.

However, both players will be looking for additional support from their team-mates, as the other main individuals in the sides have been inconsistent.

For the Netherlands, Robin van Persie has been very hit or miss and has not shown his best form in the knockout rounds. 

Natacha Pisarenko/Associated Press

Indeed, the Dutch have only scored two goals in 210 minutes of football against Mexico in the round of 16 and versus Costa Rica, and the time for a goal drought is surely not now.

Argentina have also seemed rather over-reliant on Messi throughout the whole competition, leaning on the spark he provides to light up their performances and win themselves games.

This will not be enough to win the competition if things remain the same.

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But with the Dutch not scoring, it should be the Argentinians who use all of their experience and navigate their way to the Maracana showpiece.

The Netherlands will run them close, and the game could be decided by a solitary goal. Louis van Gaal's team will not give much away, but if Messi can hit the heights that he has shown in the past few weeks, it will be his team that goes all the way to the end of the tournament.

Prediction: Argentina win 1-0

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