With soccer powerhouses Brazil and Germany set to square off on Tuesday, German head coach Joachim Low isn’t messing around.
After Brazil lost both attacker Neymar and captain Thiago Silva for the clash, many have Germany as the favorites to advance and break the host nations’ heart.
Speaking to reporters after guiding Germany to a record fourth-straight World Cup semi, Low talked about the Samba flair evaporating from Brazil’s game and their tough-tackling displays being handled correctly by officials.
“They’re playing more robustly than any other team here,” Low said. “There’s little left of that traditional Brazilian style of football. At the end of the day, it’s up to the referee to come up with the correct punishment.”
Low has a point. Brazil’s attacking unit have failed to click into place. Apart from Neymar’s four goals, the Selecao’s other six attackers have two goals between them through five games.
Luis Felipe Scolari’s side have also picked up 10 yellows cards and committed 96 fouls, as their aggressive displays are far from what you’d expect from the five-time World champions.
It has been a case of Industry over ingenuity for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.
Saying that, Germany’s industry (as always) has been their main strength as they’ve ground out three tight one-goal wins and battled to a tie after their opening game demolition of Portugal. Low’s own offense has failed to fire recently and although certain flashes of magic in and round the box returned in their quarterfinal win over France, it still wasn’t as fluid as we expect from Das Mannschaft.
With flair missing for both Germany and Brazil, expect a rambunctious and scrappy game in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday. That said, most World Cup semifinals aren’t classics. Given the fact that a place in the final is on the line, nerves often take over. Being robust and solid as a rock should be the order of the day for these giants of world soccer. Who can hold their nerve best?
CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. women’s national team will host Switzerland for two matches this October in Minneapolis and Utah.
The matches for the defending World Cup champions are set for Oct. 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, and at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Oct. 23.
The U.S. team has played Switzerland just twice before, with the Americans winning both matches.
The United States is also facing Thailand on Sept. 15 in Columbus, Ohio, before playing the Netherlands in Atlanta on Sept. 18.
The team will be without goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was suspended from the team for six months following comments she made at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The United States was ousted by Sweden in the quarterfinals for the team’s earliest-ever exit at the Olympics.
Just incase you were unaware, there’s another Pogba. And he too could be playing in the Premier League very soon.
[ MORE: Could David Luiz be making a return to Stamford Bridge? ]
While it was Paul Pogba that stole the spotlight when he returned to Manchester United for a world-record transfer fee, Florentin — his 26-year-old brother — is drawing interest from England’s top flight.
According to the Sun, David Moyes and Sunderland are launching an $8.5 million bid for the St Etienne defender as a potential replacement for Lamine Kone. The Black Cats still anticipate that Kone will exit the Stadium of Light this season after handing in a transfer request earlier this month.
Pogba has played with the Ligue 1 club since 2012 after joining from lower-division club Sedan. Additionally, the centerback has made 13 appearances for Guinea at the international level.
In a shocking twist, Chelsea could be prepared to bring back a former defender.
The Blues are reportedly lining up a bid for Brazilian central defender David Luiz, who exited the club two years ago to head to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1. According to Daily Mail, Chelsea would pay up to roughly $41 million for the PSG centerback.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]
Back in 2014, Chelsea received an astounding $65 million for Luiz from the French champions, but he has quickly grown out of favor with the club.
New manager Antonio Conte is looking to sure up the backline before end of the transfer window, and Luiz appears to be a final effort to do that after missing out on several defenders, including Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
AS is reporting that Tottenham could be in for Real Madrid midfielder Isco.
While Spurs currently boast one of the youngest and most promising teams in the Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly keen on adding another playmaker into the fold as Isco’s future in Madrid is unknown.
Isco would leave on a loan deal, and while Spurs are seen as a contender for the Spaniard, Malaga is said to be interested in the player as well.
Manchester City defender Eliaquim Mangala could be on his way to Porto after joining the English side two years ago.
According to the Guardian, the 25-year-old would likely return to the Portuguese side on loan after disappointing for the Citizens since his arrival in 2014.
With the addition of John Stones this summer, Mangala has fallen further down the pecking order with new manager Pep Guardiola.
Middlesbrough has impressed at times during its return to the Premier League this season, and now the club looks to bolster its backline as the transfer window closes.
[ MORE: Aguero could miss Manchester derby after FA charge ]
The club announced the loan signing of Arsenal defender Calum Chambers on Tuesday, providing the Boro with a promising young player to contribute in the back.
Chambers, 21, has made 58 appearances in the PL with both the Gunners and Southampton, while also earning three caps for England.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka revaled his excitement over the signing, while also stating that the player addresses a big need on the backline.
“I’m really pleased,” said Karanka. “It’s a position where we’ve been working towards bringing the right player in. We haven’t been in a hurry because Calum was the player we were waiting for, and he’s going to help us a lot.”