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Ange Postecoglou's men have to find a way to tame the rampant Dutch or risk suffering the same fate as Vicente Del Bosque's title holders

Australia face arguably the toughest task of any team at the World Cup in their next match, when they go up against a Netherlands side fresh from humiliating the reigning champions.

The Socceroos acquitted themselves well in their Group B opener against Chile last Friday, losing 3-1 but pushing the South Americans hard and impressing the neutrals in the process.

But it doesn't get any easier at Estadio Beira-Rio on Wednesday night (Thursday 2am AEST), when Ange Postecoglou's side take on a Dutch team who destroyed holders Spain 5-1 last week.

That result stunned the football world and served to highlight the deadly attacking prowess of Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.

Australia are likely to sit deeper and defend in greater numbers than Spain, who were repeatedly caught on the counterattack and left their centre-backs horribly exposed in the humiliating loss.

Postecoglou will be without the services of right-back Ivan Franjic after the Brisbane Roar player tore his hamstring against Chile.

Ryan McGowan replaced him in that match and performed well against Jorge Sampaoli's energetic team.

However, the Shandong Luneng man is more at home in the middle of the backline. Together with centre-back Alex Wilkinson, the right side of the Socceroos' defence is likely to be heavily targeted by the Netherlands.

Louis van Gaal used three centre-backs and attacking wingbacks to blunt La Roja in Salvador but the future Manchester United manager could well switch to a more conventional back four in a game his team will be expected to dominate.

Nigel de Jong is likely to shield the back four and Wesley Sneijder will create in the number 10 role, with Mile Jedinak and Mark Bresciano respectively their counterparts in green and gold.

Daley Blind, who is expected to shake off a minor knee problem, starred against Spain on the Netherlands' left, while Australia's right winger Mathew Leckie also produced a strong performance in the Chile game, making for an interesting showdown on that flank.

There is also sure to be a fascinating duel between the Socceroos' veteran forward Tim Cahill and the Dutch centre-backs, with Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar, the most experienced member of the Oranje backline, likely to be charged with suppressing the former Everton man's aerial threat.  

A victory for the Netherlands will set them well on course for round of 16, while another respectable defeat will be treated as something of a moral victory for Australia, given their inexperience and daunting opponents.