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Lewis, Sandro and Steffen preview World Cup semi-final

Posted on 8 July 2014  - 15:45

Tonight's first World Cup semi-final pits together hosts Brazil and Germany - and that means a little in-house banter between Lewis Holtby, Steffen Freund and Sandro.

Sandro and Lewis - Brazil vs GermanySandro and Lewis

In the Brazil corner, we have Sandro (17 full caps) while representing Germany, we have Steffen (21 full caps, Euro 96 winner, World Cup squad member 1998) and Lewis (three full caps, captained Germany in Euro U21 Finals).

We asked two questions about tonight's semi-final - kicking-off at 9pm UK time in Belo Horizonte - and for a message to Paulinho, who is expected to line-up for Brazil.

Who will win this game?

Lewis: “I think Germany will win. The team is ready for it, they’ve waited so long to get to a final and to win the trophy again and the team is full of experienced players who have played in major finals.

Sandro: “Brazil, of course.”

Steffen: “Germany has a huge chance to beat Brazil because Thiago Silva is suspended, Neymar is injured and all the Germany players are available apart from Mustafi, who is injured."

What is the key to victory?

Lewis: “I think Germany will play with their heads and there might be too much emotion for Brazil. Germany are so composed and will walk out at the stadium knowing exactly what they need to do.”

Sandro: “I think the big moment will be the first minute. If Brazil start well, start with power, I think it will be difficult for Germany. Every player will be up for it.”

Steffen: “For me, it’s the midfield. Neymar has played in a free role and will be a big miss for Brazil. If Paulinho plays, our player, he’s a clever player and can score all the time but if Brazil are pushed back as a unit, I think they can be vulnerable because in offensive transition, Germany are the best team.”

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Your team-mate and friend Paulinho should line-up for Brazil. Do you have a message for him?

Lewis: “Paulinho, my friend, I hope Germany win but have a good game, a safe journey home and I’ll see you soon.”

Sandro: “Paulinho, everyone here at Spurs, all the Spurs fans are watching you, Brazil is watching you, we are all looking forward to this game. I hope you play well and score, my friend. Good luck.”

Steffen: “It’s great to have you at Tottenham Hotspur, great to have a player in the last four of the World Cup. I’ll just say that on this one occasion, it’s okay for you have a bottle of red wine before the game! Good luck!”