2014 World Cup: Australia vs Netherlands preview

June 17, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Australia vs NetherlandsHaving missed their opportunity to surprise Chile, Australia have little to hope for ahead of the clash with high-flying Netherlands.

Oranje produced the biggest shock of the tournament by hammering holders Spain 5-1 and they will fancy their chances of beating the Socceroos as well.

Australia were always going to have a tough task of progressing from Group B, but Ange Postecoglu’s side hoped to produce an upset or two at the tournament finals.

And while the two early goals they conceded against Chile denied them such an opportunity in their opening fixture, the Socceroos managed to show some improvement and pushed La Roja all the way after Tim Cahill had reduced the score.

Australia eventually succumbed to a 3-1 defeat that all but ended their chances of reaching the next stage, but there were more bad news for boss Ange Postecoglu.

Important defender Ivan Franjic tore his hamstring in the process, meaning the tournament is over for the talented full-back.

It is perfectly clear Australia go into the Netherlands game as major underdogs, although they are 2.06 (35/33) to score at least one goal.

Ryan McGowan is set to deputize for Ivan Franjic, while Tim Cahill, Mark Milligan and Mile Jedinak are all one yellow card away from suspension.

Probable starting line-up (4-5-1): Ryan – McGowan, Wilkinson, Spiranovic, Davidson – Leckie, Bresciano, Milligan, Jedinak, Oar – Cahill.

Despite enjoying plenty of success in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, Netherlands were not seen as one of the candidates for the trophy at the tournament finals, with many believing they could even struggle to get past the group stages.

Oranje did not need a lot of time to prove the doubters wrong as they came from a goal behind to hammer holders Spain 5-1 in their opening fixture, with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scoring two goals each.

The result means the Netherlands will secure their place in the next stage with any win over Australia, but Louis van Gaal’s side look a good bet to win both halves at 2.40 (7/5).

Even though his 5-3-2 formation worked like a charm against La Furia Roja, the boss looks set to revert to a 4-3-1-2 for the Australia game, which should see Daley Blind move to midfield.

The Ajax star and Ron Vlaar have resumed full training after recovering from minor knocks and they are expected to be in the starting line-up.

Louis van Gaal, therefore, looks set to field an unchanged side against Australia, albeit in a different system of play.

Probable starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Cillessen – Janmaat, Vlaar, de Vrij, Martins Indi – de Guzman, de Jong, Blind – Sneijder – Van Persie, Robben.

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