With the Oranje looking to repeat their heroics of four years ago, our tipster looks at their squad and chances of World Cup glory where the bookmakers price them at 25/1The Netherlands go into the World Cup with high levels of expectation and pressure on their shoulders after finishing runners up in South Africa four years ago.
With 28 points secured from a possible 30 in the qualifying group stages, it may be somewhat of a surprise they are priced at 25/1 (26.00) to win the competition in Brazil this summer.
Louis Van Gaal's side were fantastic in the qualifying stages for this competition over the last two years, overcoming a tricky group to qualify with ease.
The Oranje had to negotiate Romania, Hungary and Turkey as well as Estonia and Andorra to progress in the competition.
The manner in which the Dutch carried out their business was superb. In the 10 qualifying matches, 34 goals were scored, with only five conceded. The only time they failed to win was against Estonia away, with a 94th minute Robin van Persie strike preserving their unbeaten record.
Looking at Van Gaal's squad, the 62-year-old coach - who looks set to take over at Manchester United after the tournament - has gone for a mixture of youth and experience.
The likes of van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Dirk Kuyt have all been in this position before and their experience will be extremely valuable to some of the players who are being embedded for the future. Terence Kongolo and Jordy Clasie have been seen as surprise inclusions, but they will no doubt gain a huge amount from the tournament.
In terms of the draw, Netherlands have been handed a tough task which could go some way towards explaining their 25/1 (26.00) quotes.
They will face the side who beat them in the final four years ago, Spain, first on 13th June in Salvador. With Van Gaal's men keen for revenge, a win for them in their first match will put them in the driving seat to win Group B, an outcome that's available to back at 11/4 (3.75).
Australia stand in their way next and despite looking good in qualifying, the Oranje should have too much for the Socceroos, who face a massive step up in class in Brazil. Chile and Alexis Sanchez wait for them in their final match in what could be the play-off for second place if Spain are to dominate the group stages like many predict. The Dutch are fancied to qualify for the second round, priced at 4/7 (1.57) but Chile put on a great run to qualify for a place in Brazil and should come into the tournament full of confidence so it is far from a certainty that the Oranje will progress.
Gregory van der Wiel is the big loss for Netherlands, with the Paris Saint-Germain man omitting himself as he is suffering from a knee injury. Looking at their formation, it is believed van Gaal will play a 5-3-2 system, with van Persie and Robben leading the line and Sneijder, Classie and Leroy Fer keeping the midfield stable.
Despite a disappointing domestic season by his high standards, it is unsurprisingly Robin van Persie that is priced up as favourite to be the top scorer in the Netherlands side at 6/4 (2.50).
He managed to net 11 goals in qualifying, but after a disappointing Euro 2012, will he be able to make his mark on the world stage this summer?
A bet that seems to offer value when looking at the markets for Netherlands is when they will exit the competition. The logical arguments seem to be pointing towards a second place finish in Group B, with Spain likely to take top spot. This would mean a probable second round fixture against the host nation Brazil, who have looked unstoppable over the last year.
Paddy Power price the Dutch side at 15/8 (2.88) for the second round to be their stage of elimination. For those who maybe think van Gaal's men can repeat their feat of four years ago, you can back them at 16/1 (17.00) to be runners up.
|Netherlands World Cup Squad - 25/1 with Paddy Power|
|Jasper Cillessen||Paul Verhaegh||Leroy Fer||Quincy Promes|
|Michel Vorm||Patrick van Aanholt||Nigel de Jong||Arjen Robben|
|Tim Krul||Joel Veltman||Jordy Clasie||Jean-Paul Boëtius|
|Jeroen Zoet||Stefan de Vrij||Jonathan de Guzman||Robin van Persie|
|Ron Vlaar||Wesley Sneijder||Klaas-Jan Huntelaar|
|Bruno Martins Indi||Rafael van der Vaart||Dirk Kuyt|
|Karim Rekik||Tonny Vilhena||Jeremain Lens|
|Terence Kongolo||Memphis Depay|
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