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FIFA World Cup 2014: Match Preview: Netherlands v/s Australia

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 - 7:15pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Netherlands set the World Cup ablaze last week as they made a stellar comeback and destroyed holders Spain in Salvador 5-1, with Louis van Gaal's men looking sublime in-front of goal and ready to face Australia in Porto Alegre full of confidence. Coach Louis van Gaal should return to his classic 4-3-3 formation after lining up his players in a 5-3-2 last Friday, which means Jonathan De Guzman may lose his place in the middle for Jermaine Lens in attack.

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Like defender Ron Vlaar, Daley Blind gave his boss an injury scare after missing a training session, but is set to take his place alongside Nigel De Jong and Wesley Sneijder as Bruno Martins Indi occupies his original spot at left-back. If the soon-to-be Manchester United manager Van Gaal chooses to maintain his experiment, though, De Guzman could be dropped in favor of Georginio Wijnaldum or Jordy Clasie.

AFP

As for Australia, Ange Postecoglou is unlikely to stray from his 4-2-3-1 formation used in the 3-1 defeat to Chile, a performance that led to some praise for the Socceroos despite the result. The only known change should be at right-back, as Ivan Franjic's World Cup has reached an end when it was confirmed he had torn his hamstring against Chile. Centre-back Ryan McGowan could be selected, although Alex Wilkinson is also an option. The Australians seem determined to give their all as they will have a last shot of making any impact on the tournament, as midfielder Mark Bresciano pointed out. "We have all experienced what the World Cup is all about now and we will be ready from the first minute", he said. "We are here to try and make history. We want to make a statement in this World Cup."

AFP

Fact File:

This is the first World Cup encounter between Australia and the Netherlands.

Australia are unbeaten in their three previous meetings against the Netherlands (Won-1 Drawn-2). Their last encounter was on 10 October 2009 in a Sydney friendly (0-0).

Australia have won one of their six World Cup encounters with European sides (2-1 v Serbia in 2010), drawing one and losing four. They have never kept a clean sheet in any of these games.

Robin van Persie has scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances for Netherlands.

Arjen Robben has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances for the Netherlands.

AFP

Following their goals against Spain, both Robben and van Persie became the first Netherlands players to score in three different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014).

Tim Cahill has scored in three World Cups for Australia; no other Australian has done so in more than one tournament.

Cahill (four goals, one assist) has now been involved in 56% of Australia's goals (9) in World Cup history.

Australia have won just two of their previous 11 World Cup matches (Lost-6 Drawn-3).

Netherlands are unbeaten in their last 11 World Cup group stage matches, winning eight and drawing three. Their last group stage defeat came back in 1994 versus Belgium.




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