World Cup 2014 – Brazil vs Holland preview
Brazil (11/10) and Holland (23/10), who contest a 3rd place play-off on Saturday 12th July, will both be bitterly disappointed by the nature of their respective World Cup exits.
Whilst Holland were able to hold Argentina for 120 minutes prior to losing a penalty shootout, Brazil were walloped by a rampant German side, their dreams of a World Cup final in tatters before the first half had ended.
Brazil, who will benefit from the return of captain Thiago Silva, are reeling from probably the most humiliating defeat in World Cup history after crashing out 7-1 to Germany in Tuesday’s semi-final. On a night which their players will not be permitted to forget, the Brazilians had to endure a 2nd half in which their own fans began supporting Germany, applauding each of their passes. It is a very real possibility that some of the defeated Brazilian players will never again pull on their country’s yellow shirt, so limited is public tolerance for defeat in this football mad country.
For Brazil, a victory here would at least be an opening step on the road to redemption, and their players will face enormous pressure to perform in what is normally billed as a pointless fixture.
Dutch manager Louis van Gaal on the other hand has stated that the 3rd place play-off, which was introduced in 1934, is an ‘irrelevance’ which should be scrapped by FIFA. The Oranje are expected to deploy a somewhat altered team, perhaps giving starts to Memphis Depay, Klass-Jan Huntelaar and keeper MichaelVorm, the only Dutch player yet to play in Brazil.
Holland have given away the 2nd most fouls of any team over the tournament, 106, trailing only Brazil with 107. In many ways this is a fair reflection of the physical game both sides are deploying, suggesting a tough battle is to be expected. Saturday’s game, in Brasilia, will mark the sides’ 12th meeting, with previous encounters featuring significant drama; including a 1999 game where 5 players were sent off!
In what would appear to be a close contest between two disappointed teams much, will depend on the differing pressures faced by the sides, and how they react. For Brazil, defeat would provoke further shame and humiliation, confirming this tournament as the lowest point in Brazilian football history. The Dutch, by contrast, have been largely liberated of expectation and can approach the game as little more than a friendly. It remains to be seen whether pressure can bolster Brazilian resolve, or whether it once again leads to collapse and ignominious defeat.
Don’t forget, as we turn attention to the final tomorrow night, betfair are running the following specials on the Germany Argentina match:
Money back if the World Cup final goes into extra time – ALL customers
Germany 6 to 1 to win the World Cup – new customers
Argentina 8 to 1 to win the World Cup – new customers