It was nothing short of a spectacle, a sweet revenge, a complete demolition, when the Dutch annihilated World champions Spain, defeating them by 5-1 in their first group match.
No one had imagined the match to take such a course where the mighty Spaniards who have been ruling the world football for a brief time would be reduced to a bunch of ordinary footballers. Everything that could have gone in Netherlands way went in their way. With two goals each by Van Persie and Robben and one from Stefan de Vrij, Holland completed their amazing evening with a 5 star goal performance.
Australia on the other hand have face a tough defeat against the Chile in their first game. The socceroos were no match to the extremely powerful Chilean attack. The Aussies will have to pick themselves up from that defeat and get onto this game with a belief of pulling off something spectacular.
Team News and Strategy
If there is any team who is high on confidence in the championship at present then it has to be Netherlands. The Dutch not only silenced those critics who had rated this team below average but they managed to surprise themselves also with that outstanding performance.
Coach Louis Van Gaal has successfully restored pride and confidence in his team. The tactical changes that he made were successful as well. His plan to play Robben as a free-mover in the midfield paid off as the Dutch winger was at his best throughout the match, running the Spanish defence rugged with his brisk pace and pin-point passing. The goal in which he ran half length of the pitch, outrunning Sergio Ramos on the half line and putting the ball behind the net with his breathtaking finishing skills stands testimony to his supreme class.
Robin Van Persie’s fitness was a worrying issue for the Dutch side before the start of this game. but the dutch striker proved his fitness by scoring the best goal of the tournament so far, where he literally leaped himself up to head an aerial pass, sending the ball over Casillas’s head from 10 meter distance.
Apart from those two the entire Dutch unit looked well throughout the game. They had fluence in their passing. The defenders were on position all the time. They successfully smothered the Spanish attack, which managed only 5 shots on target.
The Dutch team is relatively inexperienced, but in a competition where momentum plays a key role. the flying Dutchman seems to be sailing high at the time. Though they will be aware that nothing must be taken for granted, and going by a game at a time theory, their next aim will be to beat Australia and book their spot for the next game.
The Dutch are predicted to play with the same unit and Louis Van Gaal will want his players to deliver to the high expectations they now have set for themselves.
Arjen Robben will yet again be the mastermind behind the Dutch attack. He will look to get into open spaces on the wing side to cut through the Australian defence, he may change his position from wide side to central midfield as the match progresses.
Predicted line up: Jasper Cillessen, Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Ron Vlaar, Daley Blind, Jonathan de Guzman, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Daryl Janmaat, Nigel de Jong, Robin Van Persie.
Australia will still be pondering over their defeat against the Chileans in their opening match. Defence will be an area of concern for the Australians. Australians were unable to get any hold of the game, they managed to win only 38% of the ball possession in that match. There midfielders were not able to construct any passing gameplay throughout the game. The team looked good in patches but there overall performance was unsatisfactory.
They received a major setback at the beginning of the mach after Chile managed to score 2 goals in the first 15 minutes of the game, which defleeted their team morale. Midfielders Oar and Bresciano did not have a good game. They were unable to get past the chilean central defending line. They relied heavily on delivering long through balls and ariel cross passes, which were unfruitful to say the least.
Australia will rely on the brilliance of Tim Cahill in this match as well. But the Australian striker will now have a tough task of getting past a formidable Dutch defence. Cahill will need support form the midfielders, to create more goal scoring opportunities. Australia will be sweating over the fitness to defender Ivan Franjic, who had to be forced out of the game, early in the second half due to an injury.
For an Australian point of view this is a do or die situation. They will have to lift their performance. with more accurate passing and dedicated approach to the game, they can certainly challenge the Dutch in this game.
Tim Cahill is the main player of the Australian squad. Cahill managed to score the only goal for them in the first match, but that did not change the overall complexion of the game. He will need better support from the likes of Oar, Bresciano, Milligan to feed in quality passes to the forward line. An early goal by Cahill will certainly set the match for Australia.
Predicted line up: Mathew Ryan(GK), Ivan Franjic, Mathew Spiranovic, Alex Wilkinson, Davidson, Mark Milligan, Mathew Leckie, Bresciano, Mile Jedinak, Tommy Oar, Tim Cahill.
Predicted score line
The Dutch are riding high right now and the Australians will have to play exceptionally well to stop the Dutch force. The Dutch are expected to control the game throughout and expected to win by 4-1.