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World Cup

  • June 23, 2014
  • • 17:00
  • • Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, São Paulo
  • Referee: B. Gassama
  • • Attendance: 62996
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Netherlands - Chile Preview: Group B qualifiers battle for top spot

Netherlands - Chile Preview: Group B qualifiers battle for top spot

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Both teams are already assured of a place in the round of 16 but know the loser of this match will face the winners of Group A - most likely to be hosts Brazil

By Kris Voakes in Sao Paulo

With both teams having already qualified for the knockout stages, there have been questions asked about whether the respective coaches will be tempted by the possibility of rotation. But Louis van Gaal and Jorge Sampaoli are likely to name their best available line-ups in the bid to avoid Brazil in the next round.

Van Gaal is forced into at least two changes due to the suspension of Robin van Persie following successive yellow cards and the heavy concussion to Bruno Martins Indi which has seen the Feyenoord defender sit out training in recent days. The 22-year-old trained on an exercise bike on Friday, but is unlikely to be rushed given the Dutch’s qualification is already secured.

While Memphis Depay is highly likely to start in Van Persie’s absence, Van Gaal has more than one option when it comes to replacing Martins Indi. A switch to 4-3-3 could see Klaas-Jan Huntelaar start, but persistence with a back three will open the door to one of Joel Veltman and Terence Kongolo.

Sampaoli may be left sweating over the fitness of key duo Arturo Vidal and Charles Aranguiz. Both missed training on Friday, with Carlos Carmona on standby to take one of the spots that may become available.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Players to Watch
Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
7 3 1 0

While Daley Blind has made a real name for himself in the tournament so far, Robben remains the man that all opponents must fear. His ability to cut in onto his favoured left foot is well known, and yet he remains almost impossible to stop. A continuation of his current form will give the Dutch every chance of going deep into this tournament.

Arturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 8
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 1 0

Even though he is on a booking and short of fitness, Vidal’s presence will be deemed as near-essential if Chile are to get the win they will probably need to avoid Brazil in the next round. His endless running and artistry high up the pitch are qualities around which Sampaoli can base his side, and his absence would be a huge boost to Netherlands.

Prediction

In what has already been a fantastically open World Cup, two teams for whom victory would be a bonus rather than a necessity are likely to serve up something of a feast. Both have shown in their two games so far that they are more than willing to attack in numbers, meaning the Sao Paulo crowd could have a real treat on their hands.

Editor's Prediction
Chile 2

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