Four nations remain in the 2014 World Cup and with Brazil star Neymar ruled out through injury, our tipster looks at which side is now in the best position to take the trophy
The quarter-final matches saw some fantastic ties unfold, with the host nation battling past Colombia, winning 2-1. However, the victory came at a cost, with poster boy Neymar being stretchered off the field with a back injury which has ruled him out of the competition.
Luiz Felipe Scolari's side now face Germany, who looked extremely solid against France, scoring early and protecting their lead.
Argentina and Netherlands meet in the other semi-final, with Alejandro Sabella's men beating Belgium in another tightly fought contest, with one goal good enough to separate the sides. Netherlands scraped through their last eight match, needing penalties to see off underdogs Costa Rica.
For the first time in the competition, Argentina are favourites to lift the trophy. Paddy Power price them at 5/2 (3.50) to go all the way, with the Neymar injury seemingly giving them the advantage at the semi-finals stage. Argentina themselves have been hit with a big loss after the quarter-finals, with Real Madrid man Angel Di Maria also being ruled out, joining Sergio Aguero on the sidelines.
Brazil and Germany are both priced at 13/5 (3.60) with Paddy Power to win the World Cup, with seemingly little to choose between the two sides as far as the bookmakers are concerned. Looking at their match though, it's not just the absence of Neymar which will effect Scolari's side.
Influential captain Thiago Silva has been a rock for the Brazilians and led the defensive line fantastically. He picked up a needless booking for blocking the goalkeeper from taking a kick and will now miss the semi-final through suspension, pending the result of an appeal.
This is a huge blow for the host nation, and with Germany looking tough to breakdown and keep out, Brazil will have a real fight on their hands as they look set to play the semi-final without their two best players.
Netherlands are the outsiders at 7/2 (4.50) with Paddy Power. Despite starting the tournament with a 5-1 win over Spain, Louis van Gaal's men have never eclipsed that performance and were almost made to pay for sloppy finishing against Costa Rica, as the South American's had a wonderful chance late on in the match to win. As it was, the Oranje progressed after spot kicks and should throw everything at Argentina knowing they've nothing to lose.
With the loss of Neymar for the competition and Thiago Silva for the semi-final match, Brazil will be seriously weakened as they face Germany.
Joachim Low's side will be confident of beating the hosts, who have yet to put in a complete performance in this year's competition.
The 13/5 (3.60) price with Paddy Power seems to offer value with Low's men coming into the semi-finals in a confident mood and knowing the Brazil side they face will be significantly weaker than the side we have seen thus far.
|Germany to win the World Cup at 13/5 (3.60) 1pts stake with Paddy Power|
Sign up with Paddy Power for up to £250 in free bets and back Hugh's selection for this match