2014 World Cup: 5 Players To Watch In the Germany-Brazil Semifinal

5 Players To Watch In the Germany-Brazil Semifinal

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With Brazil and Germany preparing to enter the World Cup Semifinals on Tuesday, both squads will look for breakout showings to bolster their hopes of reaching the Final on Sunday in Rio de Janeiro. Here are five key players whose performances will go a long ways to determining which squad ultimately heads to Estadio Maracana looking to win a world title.

Manuel Neuer, Germany

Manuel Neuer
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Manuel Neuer, Germany

Manuel Neuer
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Manuel Neuer is considered one of the world’s best goal tenders and he’ll need to be on top of his game against Brazil. The 6-foot-4 Bayern Munich product has already had a strong World Cup and will combine with Philipp Lahm and Mats Hummels to try and shut down a short-handed Brazil offensive attack.

Julio Cesar, Brazil

Julio Cesar
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Julio Cesar, Brazil

Julio Cesar
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Julio Cesar has been solid in the nets for Brazil and his steady play will be required to hold off a skilled Germany offense. Having already won a penalty shoot-out for the Brazilians at the World Cup, Cesar’s focus and communication will be important for a team trying to make up for the loss of team captain Thiago Silva.

Oscar, Brazil

Oscar
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Oscar, Brazil

Oscar
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Oscar has only scored one goal in the tournament for Brazil, but his ability to connect on diagonal passes will be important for an offense playing without Neymar. As Brazil’s most offensively talented midfielder, his deft touch and playmaking ability will be under the microscope against Germany’s solid defensive corps.

Toni Kroos, Germany

Toni Kroos
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Toni Kroos, Germany

Toni Kroos
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While Toni Kroos often toils in the shadow of his big-name teammates on the German National Team, the skilled midfielder is a key component of Germany’s offensive thrust. A highly-skilled player who excels on free kicks, Kroos’ ability to pick out teammates with his left-foot will be an important facet of the German offensive attack against Brazil.

Hulk, Brazil

Hulk
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Hulk, Brazil

Hulk
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With Neymar absent due to injury, the focus of Brazil’s offense now falls on Hulk. A physical forward with surprising speed, Hulk has had some good moments, but has also suffered from inconsistency at the World Cup. He’ll need to put together a strong all-around performance for the Brazilians to advance on Tuesday.

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