Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: A statistical preview to the first semi-final
WhoScored.com sifts through the stats to analyse where the game could be won and lost
Tuesday 08 July 2014
Two of the tournament favourites ahead of this summer's showpiece do battle as hosts Brazil face Germany in what many would have predicted to be one of the semi-finals before the first ball was even kicked. These two sides haven't had it all their own way up to now though, each drawing their second group game before being forced to extra-time in the round of 16, and penalties in the case of Brazil.
The main news ahead of this match will see the Selecao line-up with perhaps their two most influential players absent. With captain Thiago Silva suspended and star man Neymar sidelined with a back injury the odds appear to be stacking up against Scolari's side. Meanwhile, though the Germans only ran out narrow winners in their quarter-final with France, it was an impressively comfortable victory, with the defensive balance seemingly restored after injuries forced Lahm to revert to right-back.
On paper the game against les Bleus looks fairly even but in reality Joachim Low's side were rarely tested. Germany restricted a side that had mustered an average of 19 shots per game at the World Cup to just 13, very few of which were clear-cut chacnes. This improved defensive stability could prove a problem for a Brazil side whose three goals in the knockout stages have all came courtesy of set pieces, with Neymar's supporting cast up front struggling up to now.
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The crocked poster boy has carried the attacking threat in more ways than one throughout the tournament, completing 6 more dribbles (17) than any teammate, creating 5 more chances (13) and mustering 4 more shots on target (9). The Barca-man's rating of 8.22 from WhoScored.com is unsurprisingly by far the best in the Brazil squad and a significant advance on Oscar (7.88), Hulk (6.92) and Fred (6.80).
In terms of how the game will pan out, Germany may well control possession, with Philipp Lahm (431) and Toni Kroos (427) ranking first and second for passes attempted at the World Cup so far. Brazil's most prolific passer in comparison - Marcelo - has attempted just 236. While Die Mannschaft have held an average of 61.3% possession, Brazil's is a relatively modest 53.5%. Low's side are patient, keeping the ball moving until a clear opportunity presents itself, with just 33% of their efforts at goal having come from outside the box - the third lowest at the tournament.
Interestingly these sides' goals thus far have come from similar circumstances. Each have netted 10 times in total. Each have scored 5 times from open play, once from the spot and 4 from set pieces. Unfamiliarly, the hosts may well rely on the latter to have any chance of progressing without the talismanic Neymar.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings
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