Although the biggest talent may be off the pitch in Brazil and Germany's epic World Cup semifinal clash, we must look forward and consider the talent that will feature on the day.
This is a celebration of the global game and should be treated as such. Let's take care of the necessary match information and look forward to all the crazy action that is set to take place on the pitch.
Here is all the info you need for this promising World Cup fixture.
|Date||Matchup||Kick-off Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|July 8||Brazil vs. Germany||4 p.m.||ESPN||WatchESPN|
Predictions for Day 27
Brazil's Strikers Are Destined to Disappoint
Fred has scored just one goal—during a 4-1 rout of Cameroon—in the tournament, a huge disappointment considering he tallied five goals in the 2013 Confederations Cup against teams such as Spain, Italy and Uruguay.
His movement and touch have been lacking in the final third, as he's averaged just 2.2 shots per game and completed 65.9 percent of his passes in the tournament.
Fred will continue to struggle against Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
It's also highly unlikely Jo will see the pitch again after his much-maligned performance against Chile. He's made just two substitute appearances overall, accounting for four shots, two turnovers and a 40 percent pass-success rate.
If Brazil does score a goal, it will either be from a set piece or an excellent bit of midfield play from Oscar.
Philipp Lahm Will Start at Right-Back
Philipp Lahm is known as one of the best right-backs in the world, but that's not how he's been deployed recently for both club and country.
Germany coach Joachim Low has continued the tactic of Bayern Munich's Pep Guardiola by playing Lahm as a defensive midfielder in this World Cup. However, he finally shifted Lahm out to right-back against France, and it worked wonders for both the player and his team.
Lahm was superb in orchestrating buildup play and maintaining possession on the right flank against Les Bleus, as Squawka Football's passing chart points out:
ESPN's Alexi Lalas was ecstatic to see the 30-year-old back in his usual role on the right flank:
Lahm at right back! Lahm at right back!— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) July 4, 2014
Meanwhile NBC Sports' Kyle Martino thought right-back was indeed the best spot for Lahm:
As good as Lahm can be centrally (evident by Pep's faith in him there) creates bigger problem than it solves. Needed at RB. Nice move Löw.— Kyle Martino (@kylemartino) July 4, 2014
Lahm will also provide excellent cover against the forward movement of Brazil left-back Marcelo. Expect Low to heed the wisdom of the crowds as well as Lahm's form, and keep him at right-back in this match.
David Luiz Will Play the Game of His Life
He may not score a goal, but expect Brazil center-back David Luiz to be the center of attention every time he is on or around the ball in this one.
He will have to be a leader on the back line in the absence of skipper Thiago Silva, marshaling his compatriots into formation and watching the likes of Thomas Mueller and Miroslav Klose.
What will be the outcome of Germany-Brazil?
In addition to his role on defense, Luiz could be a threat on set pieces, either taking the kicks or challenging for the ball in the air. He's popped up for his first two goals as a member of the Selecao in this tournament, further padding his reputation as a source of inspiration.
He's also a down-to-earth humanist and will no doubt feel the love from the Brazilian faithful.
"If there’s something I’ve always dreamed about and which I’ve always tried to show people, it’s that we’re all the same in this life, that everyone deserves respect and that we’re all equal," Luiz told FIFA.com.
He's an inspirational human being and will no doubt rise up to the challenge when his team needs him most.
Miroslav Klose Will Score a Goal
Miroslav Klose is the poacher of record at the World Cup. Over his long and sensational career, he has 15 goals in this tournament, which is tied with Brazil legend Ronaldo.
Mueller has been Germany's striker of record in this World Cup, but Klose poached a goal against Ghana as a substitute and started for Die Mannschaft against France. Whether it is as a sub or starter, Klose is at his most dangerous when the stakes are at their highest.
Klose will ghost past the unprepared center-back in place of the suspended Silva—most likely Henrique or Dante—pop up for his 16th World Cup goal and shatter millions of hearts in the process.
That's what he was born to do.
Unfortunately, Luiz's heroics won't be enough for Brazil, as Germany will execute Low's game plan perfectly and snuff out any of Brazil's attempted attacks.
Even if Brazil manages to break down the German defense in the absence of Neymar, there is still goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to contend with. He should be able to corral Brazil's chances and preserve a well-deserved victory for Die Mannschaft.
Prediction: Germany 2-1 Brazil
Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com unless otherwise noted.