It's semi-final time so get your predictions in for the big games
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After a reasonably large gap to allow us to mourn the biannual death of English football, we plough on with our World Cup prediction competition. First up we have hosts Brazil against serial semi finalists Germany tonight. All the talk has been of Neymar and his injury ahead of this game and it's no surprise because he's all they seem to have going for them. It's not that the Brazil team is a particularly bad team, all the component participants are decent enough but so far they've failed to set ones imagination alight like the 1982 team did for me or the 1970 team did for my dad.
Even their star man Neymar isn't yet the finished article and can’t hold a candle to the current world’s best player, Lionel Messi and with the pressure being heaped upon is slender shoulders, it's no wonder the poor lad buckled. It's probably for the best because the Brazil team has been swept to the semi finals on a wave of national enthusiasm and benevolent officiating and when they fail, Neymar would certainly have been in the sights of Brazilian boo boys. If the loss of their prodigal son was not enough, Brazil also have to deal with the loss of suspended captain Tiago Siva, so it really isn't looking good for the home team. But maybe that's what they need, to emerge from beneath his shadow to truly sine in their own light? I doubt it though...
Germany on the other hand have looked the strongest of the European teams, albeit with their own frailties. As ever the Germans seem to be able to play as a team and play well enough to reach the final couple of rounds. Although they have a goalscorer and some high profile players, none stands out ahead of the others. They have almost been embarrassed defensively a couple of times but so far only Ghana and Algeria have breached the G German defence. So just 3 goals conceded in the competition and a team on a run of 16 unbeaten games, more clean sheets in the competition and also some healthy wins lie the 4-0 win against Portugal behind them, Germany have to be the clear cut favourites.
Especially when you look at the history the Germans have in this competition. Semi finalists in the last four competitions and in their 11 previous semi-finals their record is four wins, five defeats and two draws - both of which were followed by penalty shoot-outs which they won. In fact there is only one team with a record anything like that of Germany's and that is Brazil...
But anyway, on with the prediction and if you've been paying attention you will have spotted my favour for the Germans, so a 3-2 win for Germany!
Do you want to make a prediction and be in with a chance to WIN one of the new SHREWSBURY TOWN AWAY SHIRT? Just go to www.facebook.com/groups/shrewschat/ , join the group and add your prediction to the “World Cup prediction competition” discussion that will be pinned to the top of the discussion board or pop along to ShrewsWall.
If you guess the correct scoreline you get three points, if you predict the correct result only, you get 1 point. A running total will be calculated for each player based on their predictions for selected world cup games. In the event of a tied score, a tiebreaker will be set.