Brazil v Netherlands

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    • Finals: Saturday, 12 July, 2014 - 21:00
    • Venue: Brasilia
    • TV Channel: ITV

    Match Preview

    Beaten semi-finalists Brazil and Netherlands must pick themselves up for Saturday's World Cup Third Place Play-off in Brasilia, live from 9.00pm on ITV.

    The sides last met in a competitive fixture in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals where a brace from Wesley Sneijder cancelled out Robinho's opener before Felipe Melo was sent off. There was another red card in their last meeting when Ramires was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence in a 0-0 friendly draw, so both teams will be keen to maintain their discipline in Brasilia.

    There is little to pick between the sides in head to head statistics with all four of their previous competitive meetings coming in the World Cup, of which both sides have won two a piece, albeit one of those wins for Brazil was in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in France 1998.

    As you would expect then, the bookmakers are having a hard time separating the sides with Brazil slight favourites at best odds 13/10 with bet365 as they bid to atone for a humiliating semi-final defeat, while Netherlands can be backed at a top price of 11/5 with Winner after their penalty shootout loss to Argentina.

    Brazil never quite lived up to their billing as tournament favourites and the cracks in their defence which were evident from the outset in their opening match with Croatia were exposed with devastating effect on Tuesday night. Germany were relentless after taking the lead through Thomas Muller as Brazil's defenders were all at sea and the tie was effectively over as a contest on half an hour with the scoreline at 5-0, scarcely believable to anyone tuning in late. There was more to come after the interval as Andre Schurrle twisted the knife to add two more before Oscar netted a late consolation in injury time. Never before has a side lost a World Cup semi-final by such a margin and the 7-1 defeat will now be an even more bitter pill to swallow as Brazil's arch-rivals Argentina have made it to the final.

    Neutral fans worldwide craved a closer contest between Netherlands and Argentina, but were not treated to an entertaining game despite getting what they wished for. Javier Mascherano did a good job of keeping Arjen Robben quiet, while the Dutch certainly nullified Lionel Messi's threat as both sides looked to stifle one another in Sau Paulo. Chances were at a premium in a very tight tactical duel which always looked destined for extra-time and penalties and it was Argentina who held their nerve. Two Dutch players reportedly refused to take the first penalty leaving centre-back Ron Vlaar to step up, but his effort was tame and easily gathered by Romero. Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben were both succesful with their spot kicks and Ezequiel Garay kept the pressure on by blasting in before Romero saved again, this time from Wesley Sneijder. Sergio Agüero netted next before Dirk Kuyt kept his side in it with a cool finish, but Cillessen could only get a hand behind Maxi Rodríguez's decisive effort and Oranje bowed out.

    Brazil couldn't cope with the pressure of expectation and will be keen to save face by at least winning this game. Luiz Filipe Scolari will rally his troops and they could perhaps be more solid at the back with Thiago Silva - the glue which holds them together - free to play following a suspension.

    Although Netherlands surpassed pre-tournament expectations to make it this far, they too will need their morale boosted after a narrow defeat on penalties. Louis van Gaal will do his best to give his players a lift, but they did play for longer than Brazil in mid-week and have had a day's less rest ahead of this match.

    2014 World Cup Matches
    Brazil W D W D W L        Netherlands W W W W D D   

    2014 World Cup Goal Scorers
    Brazil (2014 World Cup):
    Neymar - 4 (1 Penalty, 2 First Goalscorer)
    David Luiz - 2 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Fred - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Fernandinho - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Oscar - 2 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Silva – 1 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)

    Netherlands (2014 World Cup)
    Robben - 3 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    Van Persie - 3 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    Depay - 2 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Fer - 1 (0 Penalties, 1 First Goalscorer)
    de Vrij - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Sneijder - 1 (0 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)
    Huntelaar - 1 (1 Penalties, 0 First Goalscorer)

    2014 Word Cup Goal Assists
    Brazil (2014 World Cup):
    Oscar - 2
    Gustavo - 1
    David Luiz - 1
    Ramires - 1
    Silva - 1
    Marcelo - 1

    Netherlands (2014 World Cup)
    Blind - 3
    de Guzmán - 1
    Depay - 1
    Huntelaar - 1
    Janmaat - 1

    Brazil v Netherlands

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