After what's been an incredibly entertaining World Cup thus far, only four teams hang on to a chance to hoist the golden trophy and carve their names into the record book. There haven't been too many eyebrow raises, as each team remaining has proved that they deserve to be on the big stage.
Brazil v. Germany
The host country entered the tournament as the heavy favorites and have lived up to their potential, going undefeated in the Cup with their only glitch coming against Mexico in a 0-0 draw. The citizens of Brazil collectively held their breath in the penalty kicks against Chile in the Round of 16, but keeper Julio Caesar played the hero and delivered a few blockbuster saves to extend their life. The South American duels continued as Brazil defeated Colombia 2-1 in the quarters thanks to the boot (and flow) of David Luiz.
Similarly to Brazil, Germany is also undefeated in the tournament despite tying Ghana in the second game of Group Stage 2-2. Algeria gave Germany a run for their money and sent the Round of 16 game in extra time, but the depth and experience of the Germans outshined the might of Algeria, as they won 2-1. The Germans were then faced with the tall-task of defeating a very strong France team, but came out on top 1-0 after a Mats Hummels goal in the 13th minute and some big time goal keeping from Manuel Neuer.
The outlook of this matchup is certainly an interesting one. Brazilian superstar and most heralded athlete Neymar is out of the World Cup after he fractured his vertebra following a tackle from Colombian defender Zuniga. Brazilian captain and world-class defender Thiago Silva will join Neymar on the sidelines as he is suspended this match after picking up his second yellow in the tournament. Despite losing two of their best players for the match, Brazil bears less pressure and will play with a more free-flow offense. Germany is all systems go, but have struggled historically against Brazil, losing five of the past nine matches, while drawing two.
Players to watch
Brazil: No. 11 Oscar
Germany: No. 13 Thomas Muller
Date, time, channel, stream
July 8th, 4:00 p.m., Brazil vs. Germany, ESPN, WatchESPN