clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FIFA World Cup: What Will Brazil Do Without Neymar vs. Germany?

Sadly, Neymar is out injured, but Brazil will want to carry on in his absence. Can the hosts advance to the final against a strong German side?

Clive Brunskill

A country in heartbreak. But the dream is not over yet.

Neymar is confirmed out of the World Cup after sustaining a nasty injury to his vertebrae in the game against Colombia. Brazil are without its biggest star.

Even worse, they will be without their captain, Thiago Silva, who is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

However, they still have the players and, pushed on by the home crowd, it's hard to count them out - even against tough opposition.

And Germany is very, very tough opposition. They looked mainly untroubled in their 1-0 win over France, with a team full of quality from the striker all the way down to the goalkeeper.

Brazil have thus far relied on Neymar, with the other players happy to be his supporting cast. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has been criticized for failing to live up to Brazil's sterling reputation of sparkling football, instead relying on physical, some say dirty, style.

They also will be without their best defender, Silva.

This would be a perfect time for Germany to strike, but it'd be a mistake to write the Selecao off.

For one, Brazil has good replacements. Let's not forget that Dante was a cornerstone in Bayern Munich's treble-winning campaign in the 2012-13 season. He may not have as much experience for the national side as Silva but he's as strong as a replacement as you're likely to find.

Brazil do not really have a player of Neymar's style or caliber, but they do have others who are talented in their own right. Willian, an energetic midfielder known for his workrate, is the most likely candidate to replace the star man.

He won't create the same magic, but he's a good passer, particularly on the counter.

The other options are Ramires, who is also known for his workrate, and Bernard, a young winger who would provide a bit more attacking threat.

Ramires did start a game this World Cup, and he's come off the bench often. He will likely play a role, even as a sub.

The 21-year-old Bernard is one of the smallest players at the World Cup, but he makes up for it with intense speed. He's made a few substitute apperances, but one thinks Scolari will only use him if Brazil needs a goal.

Willian suffered a slight injury but he insists he will be ready for the match.

It will be interesting to see whether Felipao will bring Barcelona's Dani Alves back into the starting lineup. He was dropped in favor of Maicon in the win over Colombia.

Alves was not particularly bad prior... actually, he's had quite a decent tournament. I suppose Scolari wanted to bring more solidity to his back four. Alves, of course, loves to get up the pitch, but so does his opposite fullback, Marcelo. Possibly he just preferred having Maicon on than Marcelo's replacement, Maxwell. (One wonders why Filipe Luis was not called up, but anyway.)

Arguably, Brazil need a bit of attacking thrust even more now that Neymar is out. On the other hand, without Silva, they may need more security in the defensive line. Decisions, decisions...

It's also notable that the idea of playing Alves as a right-winger is apparently not on Scolari's mind. Alves operates better as a right-back but he does have the quality to play upfront if required. He's done so in the past for both Barcelona and the national team. Perhaps Felipao just does not want to play Alves out of position, even in an emergency...

Germany won't have the same selection problems. Their absences, notably Marco Reus, are known since the beginning of the tournament. For Jogi Low, it's more about getting his best XI out on the pitch.

Against France, Miroslav Klose started the match, giving Germany a true striker upfront. It's up for debate how effective that was. Philipp Lahm has played in midfield but will probably stick to right-back. And Benedikt Howedes is definitely not a natural left-back, though he will remain there in all likelihood.

Germany is blessed with midfielders, enough that Low only brought one striker, the 36-year-old Klose.

Brazil remains alive in the tournament but they have yet to wow anyone. Their physical, workman play is a far cry from the mythical "samba football" fans have come to demand.

This, before the loss of maybe their only flair player, Neymar. In all likelihood, Brazil will only further retreat into its shell.

If Brazil are to progress, they will do so winning ugly. They may not care.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes