Netherlands have surely announced their domination in this World Cup as they humiliated the defending champions, Spain, 5-1 in their opening game. Confidence is booming within the squad, having won the most important game of the group. Louis van Gaal will have to keep his team focused ahead of their next opponent, Australia, as a mess up would change the entire dynamic prediction of the final group standings. As for the Aussies, their campaign has had a disastrous start, as they lost to Chile 3-1. Tim Cahill and his men will need a win to avoid elimination from the group stages.
The Flying Dutchman, Robin van Persie and Bayern Munich star, Arjen Robben were phenomenal, with 2 goals each to their name in this competition. The men in Oranje are up against a much lesser fancied team to go through, Australia, who they’ll be playing in the Estádio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. The last thing Netherlands would want is a total screw up. A possible clean sheet will help the defensive back 4 gain the confidence required for the grueling knockouts later.
“After such a performance, the dynamics have naturally changed. However, as a country, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. We have to stay realistic,” van Persie said. “We achieved an impressive result but we have a long way to go to win this tournament. This is my fifth (major) tournament and I know how these things work: the euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears.”
The Socceroos’ will need their all time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill to be on top of his game. His header was the only goal which kept them in the game for some time against Chile. Considering the late goal and luck, Australia were in the game for long periods of time and have proved to be a force which doesn’t give up. They’ll look to push forward early on in the game to lead and gain confidence. Besides the build up, Australia have a great record over Netherlands in previous meetings. They’ve played 3 friendlies of which, the Dutch have failed to conquer the Socceroos, drawing twice, and losing once.
With Robben and Lens on the wings, the defensive pair of Davidson and Franjic (who might not even play considering the hamstring injury he suffered in the Chile match) , who have little experience and might stumble and open up huge gaps to exploit. The Dutch will go all out and try and continue their fiery form and prove to the world that they are back and back with a bang. Also, Van Gaal hinted he might revert to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 system against Australia. This will change everything, as the 5-3-2 formation against worked so perfectly against Spain and reverting back might foresee a different gameplay of events.
Australia vs Netherlands Possible starting Lineups:
Australia: Mat Ryan; Matthew Spiranovic, Jason Davidson, Alex Wilkinson, Ryan McGowan; Ben Halloran, Mark Milligan, Mile Jedinak, Mathew Leckie; Mark Bresciano; Tim Cahill
Netherlands: Jasper Cillessen; Bruno Martins Indi, Ron Vlaar, Stefan De Vrij;Daley Blind, Nigel De Jong, Jonathan De Guzman, Daryl Janmaat; Wesley Sneijder; Arjen Robben, Robin Van Persie.
Australia vs Netherlands Match Facts:
- The Netherlands were World Cup runners-up in 1974, 1978 and 2010 but have never won the tournament.
- Australia are playing in their third consecutive World Cup and also competed in 1978. They reached the Round of 16 in 2006.
- Previous meetings: The two sides have drawn twice and Australia have won once.
- Australia coach Ange Postecoglou took over the Socceroos in October following a string of bad results after they had qualified for Brazil cost Holger Osieck his job.
- Netherlands coach Louis Van Gaal has coached Ajax, Barcelona, AZ and Bayern Munich and took on the national job in July 2012. He will take charge of Manchester United after the tournament.
Facts compiled from uk.eurosport.yahoo.com
Australia vs Netherlands Prediction:
Netherlands 3 – 1 Australia