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FIFA World Cup Match Preview: Netherlands v/s Costa Rica

Saturday, 5 July 2014 - 11:27pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA Webdesk

Netherlands are reeling from the loss of defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong while Costa Rica are sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Keylor Navas and defender Roy Miller ahead of their World Cup quarter-final clash in Salvador. De Jong was forced off just nine minutes into his country's 2-1 last 16 win over Mexico and subsequent scans revealed a groin muscle tear, ruling him out of the remainder of the tournament.

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Consequently, Louis van Gaal has a tactical dilemma. He could switch to 4-3-3 or continue with the double pivot in front of the five man defence with which he has started every game, replacing De Jong with Jonathan de Guzman, Jordy Clasie or versatile defender Daley Blind, who moved into midfield against Mexico. If the latter option is taken, Bruno Martins Indi would be the obvious man to step in on the left-hand side of the defence, as he did in Fortaleza. Regardless, Daryl Janmaat is expected to return on the opposite flank in place of Paul Verhaegh, who did not impress against Mexico.

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As for Costa Rica, goalkeeper Navas, who has been one of the stars of the tournament, missed training on Wednesday because of a minor shoulder problem, but is expected to start. Meanwhile, versatile defender Miller is doubtful because of a muscle tear in his left foot, which is a major concern given centre-half Oscar Duarte is suspended for the last-eight meeting with the Dutch.

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Elsewhere, coach Jorge Luis Pinto is not expected to make any changes to the side that has served him so well in Brazil, meaning lone striker Joel Campbell will once again be supported by Bryan Ruiz and Christian Bolanos from out wide.

Fact File:

Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 World Cup matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain.

Costa Rica are unbeaten in four World Cup games for the very first time (Won-2 Drawn-2).

Los Ticos became the first CONCACAF team since the USA in 2002 to reach the quarter-final phase of the World Cup.

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This will be the first ever meeting between the Netherlands and Costa Rica.

The Netherlands have now turned their last four World Cup games in which they fell behind in regular time (90 mins, not inc. ET) into victories.

Seven different players have scored for the Netherlands at this World Cup.

The Netherlands have never lost to a CONCACAF team at the World Cup (Won-1 Drawn-1, both against Mexico).

Costa Rica have beaten just one European side in their last seven encounters with teams from that continent, though this did come against Italy earlier in the World Cup (Drawn-3 Lost-3).

Los Ticos have scored in all but one of their nine World Cup matches against teams from Europe, failing to score against England earlier in the tournament.

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Wesley Sneijder has scored five goals in his last five World Cup knockout matches for the Netherlands.

Sneijder has played more World Cup games than any other Dutchman (15).

The Netherlands have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 World Cup knockout games, last keeping a shutout against Ireland in 1994.

Bryan Ruiz scored with Costa Rica’s only shot on target in the match against Greece.

Keylor Navas has saved 87.5% of the shots he’s faced at the World Cup so far, making 14 saves.


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