Injuries to Neymar, Silva make Europeans favorites for finals

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014


WITH the semifinals of the 2014 World Cup set today and Thursday in Brazil, European booters from Germany and Netherlands became the favorites to enter this year’s finals.

These expectations came about as Brazil’s stars Neymar and Thiago Silva as well as Argentinian Angel Di Maria are out of the competition leaving the Germans and Dutch likely to prevail in the South American-European duel.

Host-Brazil arranged a face-off with Germany today at Belo Horizonte after beating Columbia, 2-1 in the quarterfinals. Germany survived France, 1-nil.

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Neymar suffered a fractured vertebra after Colombian Juan Zuniga caught the Brazilian star's back with his knee.

Thiago was slapped his second yellow card during the quarterfinals for blocking Colombian keeper David Ospina.

Ceres-La Salle Salle FC head coach Ali Go said that with both Brazilian stars ruled out in the semis, he picks Germany.

“I find Germany to have an edge in this tournament given that they don’t have a star. I expect them to play as a team,” he said.

Ceres’ Korean technical director Cha Soung Yooung sees it the other way around.

“With both Neymar and Silva not playing in the semis, this will make them a team. Everybody is expected to step up to fill the spots they left,” he said. “I also pick Argentina to win over Netherlands.”

United Football League Division 2 MVP Jayson Panhay also picked Brazil and Argentina to enter the finals. “These are my favorite teams,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi’s side Argentina will face a tougher Netherlands squad on Thursday at Sao Paolo without their midfielder Di Maria after their team doctor said that he has a thigh problem.

The good news is that if the Argentinian side enters the finals, Di Maria will most likely to return in the pitch.

A Ceres FC assistant coach picks Germany and Argentina for the finals face-off while Ceres FC administrator Nicolas Golez and club tournament director Warren Concepcion pick Germany and Netherlands for the championship.

The 2014 World Cup final match will be on July 14 in Rio de Janeiro.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 09, 2014.

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