Tag Archives: Neymar Injury

New Post: No Neymar? No Problem. I think Brazil will beat Germany in today’s World Cup semifinal

By, Kyle Gibson

No eloquent statement here. It sucks.

It just simply sucks that we as soccer fans have been robbed of Neymar, the most exhilarating player of the 2014 World Cup, when Brazil takes on Germany in today’s first World cup semifinal.

Not only is Brazil missing Neymar, but it is also without its captain, Thiago Silva.

I wrote on Saturday about how Brazil could cope with the loss of these two stars and I still believe these strategies will work.

Without its captain, Dante will probably start against Germany. The big defender plays for Bayern Munich, so that could be an advantage considering he’ll know half the German roster, but Dante isn’t quite the leader that Silva is.

With Neymar out, I can see Paulinho staying in the lineup when Luis Gustavo returns from suspension. The key to the game against Germany will be Oscar, who can take over games when he wants to, but also go missing at times. I think Oscar will play a more advanced central role in the midfield, with Fred as solo striker. Oscar played sensationally against Croatia in Brazil’s first World Cup game, he will have to play even better against Germany.

Dante would start on most teams, so I have no doubt he will perform pretty well, the only concern there is a lack of match sharpness. Dante’s Bayern Munich knowledge will be huge for Brazil leading up to this game.

The real key is Oscar, who often can disappear in big games and moments. Oscar has also rarely been the star of a midfield. At Chelsea, he plays with Eden Hazard, which somewhat limits his attacking chances. At Brazil, he has to attack with Neymar, a once in a lifetime talent. If and only if Oscar has a great game, Brazil has a chance to advance.

I think Brazil is lucky to be playing Germany at this stage. Even though it will be hungry to win its first semifinal in 3 attempts, there will probably be a bit of self doubt for the Germans, who have finished 3rd place in two straight World Cups. Germany is also not in its best form.

So, my analysis is going with my heart slightly more than my head. I say Brazil wins 1-0 after huge games from David Luiz, Dante and Oscar.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments or @kickingit10.

Advertisements

New Kicking it Podcast! 2014 FIFA World Cup Semifinals Preview and Predictions

In this edition of the Kicking It Podcast, Kyle and Richard break down each of the 4 teams left at the FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands. We discuss how each team did in the quarterfinals and make our bold (and probably wrong) predictions for the rest of the tournament.

Listen in the player below, or subscribe on iTunes by searching “Kicking it With Kyle Gibson.” Please allow a podcast up to 24 hours to appear on iTunes because of additional posting steps.

New Post: Lionel Messi can make World Cup 2014 His, now that James Rodriguez and Neymar are out

By, Kyle Gibson

Two more stars are out of the World Cup, one due to elimination, one due to the knee of a no talent hack. James Rodriguez’s Colombia lost a hard fought match to Brazil on Friday. In the game, Neymar, Brazil’s star, took a knee to the back late from a dirty challenge and broke a vertebrae, putting his World Cup at an end before his team’s day is done.

Rodriguez leads the tournament with 6 goals, while Neymar was tied for next best with 4.

With those names now gone, a very familiar face could make his play the center of the tournament again.

Lionel Messi’s Argentina is still alive and for the first time in 3 appearances, Messi has been shining at a World Cup. He has 4 goals and an assist so far, but has been overshadowed by Neymar on home soil and the surprise and brilliance of Rodriguez.

Messi already has 3 signature moments at this World Cup. His goal in stoppage time against Iran bent around 3 players and won the game. His free kick goal against Nigeria was too well placed for even top goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama. Finally, his assist to Angel DiMaria to sink Switzerland was evidence of Messi’s unselfish characteristics.

Messi isn’t the only big game scorer left, because Thomas Müller of Germany also has 4 goals and won the Golden Boot in 2010. However, Müller was lucky to score 3 goals against a Portugal side that was sent down to 10 men. Müller looked nonexistent against Algeria and failed to score against France in the Quarterfinals. With Brazil in the semifinals, I’m not sure if Müller will score In that game either.

Messi still has a Quarterfinals match against Belgium to play and if Argentina is not eliminated, he would face the Dutch or Costa Rica en route to the Finals.

Messi is the biggest player left at the World Cup. With Neymar injured, Messi is probably the only big name draw that casual soccer fans will tune in for. Messi has long been criticized for his performances for Argentina. If he grabs control of the tournament, no rational person will be able to complain about him again.

With a potential 3 games left to play, I could easily see this becoming Messi’s tournament. Three goals could win him the Golden Boot. His shimmering, sensational play could well seal the Golden Ball.

Give @kickingit10 a follow on Twitter will ya?

New Post: What Does No Neymar or Thiago Silva mean for Brazil?

By, Kyle Gibson

Thiago Silva lost the plot and interfered with David Ospina and Neymar took a knee to the back from Zuniga in the 88th minute, making captain Silva ineligible for the semifinal and Neymar out for the tournament.

Even though Brazil now finds itself in its first semifinal since Korea-Japan 2002, it’s now highly unlikely that the team can win the World Cup Final on home soil.

Neymar and Silva are the two most important players on the Brazilian team. The only players that could claim to be near as important this tournament are David Luiz and Julio Cesar. Neymar leads the team in goals, shots and touches in the attacking third. At times this World Cup, he has appeared to be the only real attacking presence Brazil has had, especially since striker Fred is (understatement) struggling. Neymar is a bright and talented playmaker who can set teammates up for a goal just as easily as he can score himself. This team was built around Neymar, now it will have to go without him.

Thiago Silva is the captain and stabilizing presence of the backline and team altogether. Getting himself suspended due to goalkeeper interference was an uncharacteristically dumb move by a man known for a clear head. Silva can mark, play forward and normally can bail out the sometimes careless Marcelo, Luiz and Dani Alves.

Without its captain, Dante will probably start against Germany. The big defender plays for Bayern Munich, so that could be an advantage considering he’ll know half the German roster, but Dante isn’t quite the leader that Silva is.

With Neymar out, I can see Paulinho staying in the lineup when Luis Gustavo returns from suspension. The key to the game against Germany will be Oscar, who can take over games when he wants to, but also go missing at times. I think Oscar will play a more advanced central role in the midfield, with Fred as solo striker. Oscar played sensationally against Croatia in Brazil’s first World Cup game, he will have to play even better against Germany.

Losing your best player and your captain can sink any team at the World Cup. For Brazil, however, fans will still expect nothing less than lifting the trophy. It will take a Herculean effort now, but as I’ve now learned, you can’t count this team out, especially with wizard Luis Felipe Scolari as manager.

-Make sure to follow @kickingit10 on Twitter for World Cup, MLS, and US Men’s and Women’s Soccer news and analysis.