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World Cup 2014: Brazil-Germany - match times, tv info, odds, previews, open thread

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Can Brazil survive without their sublime star?

This image looms over today's semifinal.
This image looms over today's semifinal.
Jamie McDonald

SB Nation's 2014 World Cup Bracket'

Friday's Schedule

MATCH TIME (CT) NETWORK TEAMS / SITE REFEREE ANNOUNCERS ODDS
61 3:00pm ESPN Brazil vs Germany
Estádio Mineirão
Belo Horizonte
Marco Rodriguez
(MEX)
Ian Darke
Steve McManaman
Brazil 8:5
Germany 7:4
Draw 21:10

Game 61: Brazil-Germany

This will be the 21st meeting between the two sides, with Brazil winning 12, Germany 4, and 5 draws. The biggest story heading into this game is, of course, what we won't be seeing in this game: Neymar. The absence of the only creative force Brazil have brought to bear in this tournament is a major problem for the Seleção. The matter of how Luiz Scolari is going to deal with this has been hotly debated, with Ramires or Jo being the primary options to replace Neymar in the lineup one way or another. The Brazilians are also going to have to contend with the absence of their suspended captain, Thiago Silva; Dante will probably fill in for him. That's two key contributors missing from a lineup which has been underwhelming enough as it is.

Germany, meanwhile, will likely be missing Shkodran Mustafi, which means more Bastian Schewinsteiger and a likely start for Miroslav Klose. Die Mannschaft haven't been as impressive as they could be during this tournament either, but their key weapons are all in place for this afternoon's contest. Despite this, the odds still favor Brazil -- by the slimmest of margins -- and there seems to be a lot of pundit sentiment that Brazil, buoyed by the home crowd, will prevail. BUt they're prime for the picking here, and if we're being honest the most likely outcome of this game is 120 minutes of football followed by a five-on-five crapshoot. Jack Sargeant, as always, provides SB Nation's match preview.

It's weird to get back to the action and still have to wait until mid-afternoon, but here we are. Your open thread awaits.