Germany and Brazil face each other in the first of the World Cup semi finals today, with the hosts having to prove they can still win games without injured Neymar. Can Brazil keep the dream alive or will there be heart break on the Copacabana?

The match kicks off at 12 p.m ET (21:00 BST), and is being streamed live online by ESPN (subscription required) and the BBC. For those of you who would rather listen than watch, there are options available online and on radio.

Live online audio streams are available for free from both ESPN and the BBC. US listeners can also tune-in to their local ESPN Affiliate station for radio coverage.

This crucial semi final will be a real test for Brazil, who find themselves entering it without two key players.

Star striker Neymar will miss the match after suffering a broken vertebrae in his last game against Colombia, and it remains to be seen if the squad have enough offensive firepower without him.

The other notable absence is at the other end of the field, with key defender Thiago Silva missing the game after picking up a one match suspension. It all adds up to a major challenge for a team already under immense pressure and expectation from a fanatic home crowd.

The Germans will undoubtedly seek to exploit any jitters amongst the Brazilian squad. The loss of Neymar may prove particularly troublesome, as any attempts on goal will have to get past German keeper Manuel Neuer.

Neuer has been on top form throughout this tournament, and has proved more than capable of making up for any gaps in the German defence. His performances so far earned him a place in my earlier round up of the Three Best Keepers of the tournament.

With a place in the final at stake it’s likely that both teams will be playing a tight game and minimising risk. We can probably expect a slow start as a result, but once the scoring starts the game will likely open up.

I think this could be the end of the road for a Brazilian team that has at times struggled to get this far. With the loss of two key players and the overwhelming pressure, I think mistakes will be made and then ruthlessly exploited by the Germans.

Expect some strong counter attacking play by the German squad, with Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose taking full advantage of any gaps that open up. My personal prediction is that this will be settled within 90 minutes, with a 2-0 win for Germany.

Will Brazil rise to the occasion, or will they break under the pressure? Let us know your match predictions in the comments section.