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World Cup Diary

@Everton

What’s happening today?

The first of the semi-finals takes place on Tuesday evening as Brazil meet Germany in Belo Horizonte at 9pm.

The host nation are still reeling from the news that star striker Neymar is ruled out of the rest of the competition through a spinal injury, while there is the added blow that captain Thiago Silva is suspended after collecting his second booking of the World Cup.

Still, coach Felipe Scolari is optimistic his side can move within one game of getting their hands on a trophy they last lifted in 2002.

In the absence of four-goal Neymar, ‘Big Phil’ has passed the responsibility to the other forwards within the Brazil squad, saying it is now their turn to do their ‘share’.

Germany are participating in their in fourth consecutive World Cup semi-final, though they have fallen at this hurdle in the two previous tournaments.

Joachim Low has no fresh injury concerns and could go into battle with the same side that held off the challenge of France in the last round.

That means Arsenal defender Per Metesacker, who started the first four games of the competition, is likely to remain on the bench and Miroslav Klose could get another chance to break the all-time World Cup goalscoring record.

The veteran 36-year-old frontman is currently level pegging with Brazilian great Ronaldo on 15 goals.

Who to look out for?

With no Blues left in the World Cup following Kevin Mirallas’ and Belgium’s exit, interest in the tournament from an Everton perspective has waned.

However, Tuesday’s clash is still very much an attractive prospect for the neutrals and all eyes around the globe will fixed to televisions later today.

The most intriguing quandary is who Scolari selects as the replacement for the crocked Neymar. It’s looking like a straight tussle between former Blue Jo and Chelsea’s Willian. One thing’s for sure, whoever gets the nod has big boots to fill.

Thomas Muller is also looking to add to his total of four goals for the competition as he aims to close in on current Golden Boot leader James Rodriguez. The Colombian netted six before their exit to Brazil on Friday.

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