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World Cup

  • June 18, 2014
  • • 17:00
  • • Estádio José Pinheiro Borba (Beira-Rio), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul
  • Referee: D. Haïmoudi
  • • Attendance: 42877

Australia - Netherlands Preview: Van Gaal's side aim for swift qualification after Spain demolition

Australia - Netherlands Preview: Van Gaal's side aim for swift qualification after Spain demolition


Dutch manager and his side are riding high after their stunning 5-1 win over La Roja and another victory would put them on the brink of the next round

By Matheus Harb in Porto Alegre

No time to dwell on celebrations. The Netherlands are set to leave behind their historical win over Spain as they lock horns with Australia in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.

The Dutch produced one of their best performances in recent history with the landslide 5-1 win at Arena Fonte Nova, which served as a revenge for 2010's defeat in South Africa, but the players are focused on securing a place in the last 16 early.

Coach Louis van Gaal should return to his classic 4-3-3 formation after lining up his players in a 5-3-2 last Friday, which means Jonathan De Guzman may lose his place in the middle for Jermaine Lens in attack.

Like defender Ron Vlaar, Daley Blind gave his boss an injury scare after missing a training session, but is set to take his place alongside Nigel De Jong and Wesley Sneijder as Bruno Martins Indi occupies his original spot at left-back.

If the soon-to-be Manchester United manager Van Gaal chooses to maintain his experiment, though, De Guzman could be dropped in favor of Georginio Wijnaldum or Jordy Clasie.

As for Australia, Ange Postecoglou is unlikely to stray from his 4-2-3-1 formation used in the 3-1 defeat to Chile, a performance that led to some praise for the Socceroos despite the result. The only known change should be at right-back, as Ivan Franjic's World Cup has reached an end when it was confirmed he had torn his hamstring against Chile. Centre-back Ryan McGowan could be selected, although Alex Wilkinson is also an option.

The Australians seem determined to give their all as they will have a last shot of making any impact on the tournament, as midfielder Mark Bresciano pointed out. "We have all experienced what the World Cup is all about now and we will be ready from the first minute", he said. "We are here to try and make history. We want to make a statement in this World Cup."


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Players to Watch
Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
2 2 2 0
The experienced captain, who scored in his third straight World Cup against Chile, is Australia' obvious hope to cause a suprise - that is, provided his team-mates can manage to create chances from crosses.
Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
One of Friday's heroes will command Netherlands' display once again, with some pacey runs and skill that will easily cause nightmares to Australia on the flanks. Not to mention going for goals, something he's keen to do as early as the opportunity presents itself.
The Socceroos' fighting spirit may not be enough to hold off Oranje but they might take a lighter approach for a match they should easily win. If they decide to go all out, however, a large score is the obvious outcome.
Editor's Prediction

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