For the edification of PPH bettors at WagerHome.com, there is good news and bad news with regard to Neymar, one of the world's premier players, who has figured so prominently in the success Brazil has had in the World Cup process, from the Confederations Cup, where his team looked so utterly dominant and he signaled himself as a full-fledged member of the elite, to the finals tournament itself, where he has scored four goals.
The bad news is that he suffered a cracked vertebrae in the team's quarter-finals victory over Colombia, which will sideline him for whatever remaining action there is going to be for the Brazilians. That starts with the semi-final game against Germany on Tuesday (4 PM ET), in which the home team is +103 to advance (Germany is -127 at WagerHome).
The good news is that his career does not appear to be in permanent danger. At least that is the word that is coming from the team doctor, who has told the press that Neymar could actually start practicing again in 45 days. That would certainly please Barcelona, the club team for which he performs alongside the incomparable Lionel Messi (what a frontline THAT is), but doesn't do much for the stage that is bigger as far as the here and now is concerned.
The whole thing might paint a rather optimistic picture, but one has to believe, from the sorrow that is already coming from the team's followers (as well as PPH World Cup bettors at WagerHome) that they probably couldn't take worse news. Remember that this is all being felt especially hard, since the tournament itself is happening in Brazil.
And no, the reports that have come from somewhere (remember, it's a huge blogosphere) that Neymar could actually be ready for the final, should Brazil get by Germany are preposterous, to say the least.
From the standpoint of player absences, there is further rough news for the Brazilians that deserves to be acknowledged by WagerHome customers. Thiago Silva, the world-class backliner and captain of the squad, is suspended, so now the team will be down two starters. That doesn't necessarily have a huge impact on the offense, but without Neymar there is going to have to be something of a "Plan B" when it comes to striking, because there is no one else who can come close to replacing him.
More pressure falls on Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Júnior, known, in customary Brazilian fashion, simply as Oscar. He's a young stud too (22), and is a standout for Chelsea, but he has not had a tremendous World Cup. Not that he has been completely bottled up; indeed, he had a goal and an assist in the Group A opener against Croatia and then added an assist against Cameroon. But he has not hit the board against the more formidable opponents (Chile, Colombia), and he is priced at +450 in the PPH sportsbook odds to score a goal on Tuesday.
There is depth on defense to make up for the loss of Silva,. even though the front-line attackers on the German side are a handful. But it is the offense that has been a concern to a lot of World Cup bettors at WagerHome, and more specifically what would happen if Neymar was stymied or missing for whatever reason. Someone has to really step up their game and put pressure on goalkeeper Marcus Neuer, or the home field advantage isn't going to mean anything.
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- Charles Jay, Gambling911.com