How do you solve a problem like Neymar? This may sound like a Brazilian reality TV talent show but it’s actually the question being asked by Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari.
Well, to be more accurate the question is – How do you solve the problem of not having Neymar? – but that’s not as catchy.
Whichever way you phrase it the fact remains that the Selecao, who have flattered to deceive for much of the tournament, will be without the talismanic attacker who almost single-handedly dragged them this far following Neymar’s tournament-ending injury against Colombia.
So who, if anyone, should Big Phil turn to in his hour of need? Here Ladbrokes News’ James Curtis looks at three best bets surrounding the likely players to fill the void.
Willian to score last v Germany @ 12/1
In times of need managers look to players who are raring to go and WIllian is anything but short of confidence.
The Chelsea winger has urged Scolari to call on him to provide the creative spark needed against Die Mannschaft and hopes his connection with Blues team-mate Oscar will work in his favour.
He may only have scored four goals last season, but with three of those closing proceedings the 12/1 on Willian firing Brazil into the final with the last strike looks a good value bet.
David Luiz to score anytime and Brazil to beat Germany @ 10/1
Luiz has been handed the captain’s armband for the semi-final clash and with Neymar out and Brazil’s strikers stuttering he carries the hopes of the host nation on his shoulders.
The added responsibility of the armband should see the Chelsea man up his game a notch and with a goal in each of the last two games 6/1 seems a crazy price for him to net again – especially if he’s on free-kick duty again!
Fred to score first v Germany @ 13/2
While all of Brazil’s strikers have underwhelmed, unlike Jo and Hulk, at least Fred has found his way onto the scoresheet – albeit in the 4-1 cruise over Cameroon.
However, that strike was his 18th in just 38 international appearances and at 30-years-old he is the experienced man of the front line in the latter stages – as he proved in the Selecao’s Confederations Cup win.
Having played in his home country for the last five years he should be used to conditions and ready to finally stand up and deliver!
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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