Since Holland annihilated Spain in the opening game of Group B, the bookies odds have suggested that the semi-finals would be Brazil vs Germany and Argentina vs Holland – and here we are.
Whilst there were some shocks in the group stages, the results have pretty much gone to plan since then with all eight group-winners progressing to the quarter-finals, and all four quarter-final favourites claiming their place in the semis.
The cream may have risen to the top, but quite how that has happened is another matter, as Brazil have only the crossbar to thank for emerging from their round of last 16 game against Chile, Germany scraped through against Algeria, Argentina needed extra-time against a well-organised Swiss side, and Holland somehow got past Mexico before needing to win a penalty shootout against Costa Rica.
Class has ultimately prevailed though, and the question now is which two of them will be facing each other in the final?
Brazil vs Germany
World Cup pin-up boy Neymar is out for the remainder of the tournament and the loss of their Talisman is surely going to make a huge difference to Brazil. Neymar’s four goals in the tournament is double that of their second highest scorer David Luiz, whilst Luiz’s defensive partner Thiago Silva has also netted once. Their other scorers have been Oscar, Fred and Fernandinho, and it is likely that this trio will have to step out of Neymar’s shadow if Brazil are to have any chance of fulfilling a nation’s dream of winning the World Cup as host nation.
The Germans are probably the most organised team in the tournament, but they’ve twice looked vulnerable against teams with genuine pace, Ghana and Algeria, and I just can’t see Brazil not scoring. I’ve also got a feeling it’s going to be quite a cagey game, one that could definitely go to extra-time and possibly penalties.
90 minute result 1-1 11/2
Brazil to win on penalties 11/1
Argentina vs Holland
Holland have the best record in the World Cup so far, winning four of their five games with a +8 goal-difference, though Argentina aren’t far behind them.
I imagine they’ll be plenty of takers of for the 12/5 about Holland to win in 90-minutes, but I think Argentina are just the better side player for player, and can sneak it 2-1 before the final whistle goes.
Argentina to win in 90 minutes 16/11
Argentina to win 2-1 11/1