Neither hosts Brazil nor Germany have completely convinced so far in the 2014 World Cup, but one of them will reach the final as the two sides clash in the last four on Day 27.
Belo Horizonte plays host to what should be a classic semi-final as two giants of World Cup history come together on Tuesday.
There is likely a need for both sides to raise their games as they face off for a place in Rio de Janeiro's final as both teams have been inconsistent up to now.
Two key absentees for Brazil could be crucial to the eventual outcome. Read on for a projection of the final score for Brazil's semi-final with Germany.
Neymar and Silva Out
Star man Neymar and skipper Thiago Silva will both be missing for Brazil in Belo Horizonte—the former through injury, the latter suspended, per former Manchester United defender and BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand:
Thiago silva missing the next game is arguably more worrying for Brazil than Neymar missing it. Best defender & leader. Willian & Dante in?— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) July 5, 2014
There are arguably no two worse players for Brazil to be missing in such a crucial game, Neymar their most productive attacking outlet—he has scored four in the tournament so far—and Silva their most important defender, to say nothing of his leadership.
A weakened Brazil defence is a concern for boss Luiz Felipe Scolari, as his back line have been somewhat vulnerable already in this tournament.
They face their sternest test yet on Tuesday. Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil, to name but three, could cause them all kinds of problems.
With Willian likely coming in to replace Neymar, he has a great deal of pressure on him and will need to galvanise forwards Hulk and Fred, who have just one goal between them so far and have been poor, per the BBC's Farayi Mungazi:
They will likely have to score at least two to beat Germany in normal time, and without Neymar, they are lacking quality in attack while being suspect in defence.
Despite it being Neymar who was stretchered off as Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 to reach the last four, Brazil were in fact the more aggressive side in their quarter-final, per WhoScored.com:
Brazil: Committed more fouls vs Colombia (31) than any other team has in a World Cup 2014 match #bra— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 4, 2014
The combative tactics worked against Colombia—just—but will not be as effective against an organised and resilient Germany side.
Germany showed against an impressive French attack that they are capable of shutting teams down, and with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira in the midfield, they will not be easily outmuscled.
Who will reach the World Cup final?
Germany have shown flashes of brilliance in this World Cup so far, especially in their opener against Portugal, which they won 4-0.
They look a far superior side to Brazil—especially as the hosts are without two of their best players—and they should overwhelm them in Belo Horizonte.
With Manuel Neuer a rock at the back and a relatively strong-looking defence, Germany can frustrate Brazil. With their quality in attack, they should be able to claim victory.
Prediction: Brazil 0-2 Germany