Football

4 WAYS TO STOP GERMANY

1 Get really ugly

Luiz Felipe Scolari is the dark pragmatist cunningly disguised in Brazilian colours.

His victorious side in 2002 were more methodical than magical and he adopted similar methods against Colombia.

The Brazilians will be expected to get the boot in. Brazil's performance against Colombia will look oh so pretty after the semi-final. Winning ugly is the only way.

2 Favour the 4-3-3

Scolari now has the excuse he was probably looking for. Without Neymar, he can add another body near the centre circle.

Joachim Loew's 4-3-3 formation fused Thomas Mueller's ingenuity with Toni Kroos' boundless energy. The front three operate freely, but the back seven displays the obdurate, controlled qualities of successful German teams of the past.

Germany will go with the same formation and philosophy against Brazil. If Scolari opts for Willian in Neymar's place and sticks with the 4-2-3-1, they are unlikely to beat Philipp Lahm's defence. The Germans will blow them away.

3 Stick with the enforcers

Scolari has a gaping hole at both the front and the back so his greatest hope will be to plug the centre.

Fernandinho and Paulinho were outstanding against the Colombians, going toe to toe and matching the South Americans tackle for tackle. Luis Gustavo can return and join the midfield melee.

Bastian Schweinsteiger no longer intimidates in quite the same attacking fashion he did in previous World Cups, but his influence against the French should not be understated. Alongside Sami Khedira, he neutralised the threat of Paul Pogba and Blaise Matuidi.

Two is company, but three in midfield give the Selecao half a chance.

4 Control the crowd

Neymar will watch the semi-final from his home. Without him, David Luiz and company must pick up the pompoms and go to work. Every free-kick, set-piece, throw-in, drinks break and stoppage in play must be a moment to make a move on the crowd.

Home advantage will never be this relevant, necessary or spiritual at a World Cup again. The Germans do not whither in adversity and will strive to kick down the wall of noise at the earliest opportunity. .

World Cup