Brazil, Netherlands to thrill soccer lovers

Friday, July 2, 2010

Pretoria- Five time world champions, Brazil, will be looking to book themselves a place in the semi-finals when they take on the Netherlands at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 16:00 today in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter.

The Samba boys will face the Dutch without their sensational playmaker, Elano, who is out of action as a result of an ankle injury.

The mighty Brazilians will be coming into this crucial clash as favourites.

In the 1974 World Cup, the Netherlands beat Brazil 2-nil, but in both the 1994 and 1998 World Cups in the United States and France respectively, the Brazilians emerged victorious.

In their previous nine clashes Brazil won four and Holland won two and four matches were drawn.

Kaka who is yet to score a goal at this World Cup is the biggest threat to the Dutch defense.

Kaka will be playing alongside Dani Alves or Gilberto Silva in the midfield since Ramires is still on suspension for collecting a second yellow card.

However, the return of pacey and quick Arjen Robben's is a significant boost to the Dutch, while on the other hand Wesley Sneijder will be expected to dominate in the middle of the park.

In his tactics to boost the Dutch defense, the Netherlands head coach Bert Van Marwijk, might use two defensive midfielders to attack.

Both teams might use the 4-2-3-1 formation with the Dutch coach starting line-up including Stekelenburg; Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst; Van Bommel, De Jong; Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt; Van Persie.

On the other hand, Dunga might opt to use the 4-2-3-1 formation with Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Michel Bastos; Gilberto Silva, Melo; Dani Alves, Kaka, Robinho; Luis Fabiano.