Brazil look for Silva lining
Thiago Silva (AFP)
Rio de Janiero - Hosts Brazil are waiting anxiously to see whether FIFA will rescind the suspension of their captain Thiago Silva for Tuesday's semi-final with Germany.
If Brazil's appeal against Silva's booking in the bruising quarter-final with Colombia,which saw Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez get particularly rough treatment which went unpunished, is successful his return would compensate a little for the absence through injury of their star player Neymar.
The card against Silva was "unjustly shown" and the defender should therefore be allowed to face the Germans in Belo Horizonte, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said in a statement.
They also want FIFA to punish Colombian Juan Zuniga, whose knee in Neymar's back fractured a vertebrae and ended the Barcelona striker's tournament.
Despite the huge gap left by Neymar, German veteran midfielder Bastia Schweinsteigger believes it could prove a focal point for the rest of the team to rally around.
"It'll bring the (Brazil) team together and they'll want to win the title for him," Schweinsteiger said.
Schweinsteiger, who will be hoping to have a happier result than the previous two World Cup semi-finals he has played in, like his coach Joachim Loew has concerns over the Brazilians robust approach.
"The Brazilians here aren't the magicians of old, the team has changed and so has their playing style," said the 29-year-old midfielder, who is not a stranger to tackling hard himself.
"Hard challenges are definitely part of their game, it's something we have to be careful of and the referee (Marco Rodriguez, who was in charge of the Italy Uruguay group game and did not see the biting incident involving Luis Suarez and Giorgio Chiellini) too."