After the Netherlands' demolition of holders Spain in their opening World Cup match, Australia will have to plug the dyke to stop a flood of goals from the Oranje in their second Group E game in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.
The Dutch stunned the world with their 5-1 victory over a hapless Spain, highlighted by a sensational headed goal by Robin Van Persie and a swaggering, two-goal display from Arjen Robben. With the 30-year-old Robben playing like a man on a mission to prove himself one of the stars of the tournament and Van Persie, the same age and also on fire, the Dutch are set to give the Socceroos defence a tough afternoon.
"It was an amazing start for our World Cup, and I think we've made a lot of people very happy, Van Persie told FIFA media. "Now the focus is on Australia, and I think that will be completely different to the game against Spain.
"Australia have a very different style and I think we are going to have to adjust our own game to beat them. It's an interesting process, having to adjust your game every time." A victory would leave the three-time World Cup runners-up poised to reach the last 16.
They might also take heart from their country's performance in the hockey World Cup, which Australia won on Sunday with a 6-1 victory over the Netherlands. But that could just be clutching at straws. -Reuters