Germany set to face weakened host Brazil

While this semifinal game will likely be another exciting World Cup match, the odds I originally saw all over the Internet were somewhat puzzling.

A number of high-traffic sites gave Brazil the advantage, some at an 80 percent chance of advancing. The official odds, though, are more of a toss-up.

Brazil is missing its star, Neymar, after he suffered a fractured vertebra late in the quarterfinal against Colombia. It’s also missing captain Thiago Silva, who received his second yellow card of the tournament in the 64th minute of the same game. That means he’ll be suspended for the match. With the two best players out for the match, all hopes of the host country getting through to the final seem tenuous at best.

Brazil appealed to FIFA about the second booking, but it was never likely FIFA would reverse the decision. It would be incredibly controversial to do so, and FIFA is already getting enough flack for its selection of Qatar as the 2022 host of the World Cup. (Really, I still don’t get that, bribery or not.)

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