After slipping past an in-form Colombian side in the quarter-finals, it doesn't get any easier in the semis for Brazil, who take on Joachim Low's Germany with a view to booking a home World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro.
Underdogs might have surprised the masses earlier in competition, but now only the cream of the global crop remain in the hunt for competition glory.
These two outfits will clash at the Estadio Mineirao on Tuesday, both fully deserving of their success up until this point, but only one will make it to the Maracana, with viewing information and preview of the tie discussed ahead.
Date: Tuesday, July 8
Time: 9 p.m. BST/4 p.m. ET
TV Info: BBC One (UK), ESPN (US)
Key Players to Watch
Brazil: Luiz Gustavo
One might not have guessed coming into this tournament that Luiz Gustavo would play such a vital role for Luiz Felipe Scolari's side, but the Wolfsburg anchor has been a constant terror to those he's come up against thus far.
His pivot partners may have changed between Paulinho, Fernandinho and Ramires, but Gustavo has been a key force in quelling the Selecao's opposition, and Sky Sports' Paulo Freitas sees his return as a major positive for the hosts:
His most likely teammate in the midfield hub is most likely to be Fernandinho once again, and with Neymar out of action, limiting Germany's chances has never been so important.
The added stigma of not seeing Thiago Silva at the back means that Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil and Co. will be that much more difficult to contain.
Germany: Mats Hummels
After missing the round-of-16 matchup against Algeria, Mats Hummels instantly brought a more assured sense of calm to Germany's defence when he made his return in the 1-0 win over France.
Bundesliga writer Raphael Honigstein would agree with the notion, too, describing the Borussia Dortmund general as one of Die Mannschaft's leaders:
The centre-back has faced more difficult threats than Brazil's Fred at this World Cup, but that gives Germany an opportunity to effectively shut out one of the Selecao's focal points, taking out a foundation of their attack.
Without Neymar in the medley, Fred's influence on matters is given that much more priority as far as Scolari will be concerned, but he risks not having any impact either on the ground or aerially if Hummels is at his finest.
Hulk vs. Benedikt Hoewedes
Benedikt Hoewedes has so far been up to scratch in his duties as left-back for Low, but Brazil's Hulk could be set to give the Schalke figure a test the likes of which he's yet to encounter at this World Cup.
Frenchman Mathieu Valbuena only saw so much luck taking Hoewedes down the flank, but this is a far more focused aspect of Hulk's approach—and one that some may argue he's far more adept at.
Speed will be a major decider in this battle, but physicality and Hulk's tendency to cut in and take the inside channel will also give Germany's out-of-position defender a stern examination.
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