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Netherlands vs Australia team sheet

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Netherlands will be feeling on top of the world as they head into their second fixture of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil against Australia, as they know a win will all but put them through to the round of 16.

Victory will put them on six points and top of Group B at least until Spain play Chile later in the day and Louis van Gaal's side will be full of confidence after they thrashed the world champions 5-1 in the opening round of fixtures.

In that game Holland's coach went against convention and played a 5-3-2 formation set up to let Spain have the ball in front of them and counter-attack at lightning pace once they lost the ball. It worked to perfection and Oranje wowed the watching world with a devastating display, dismantling the World and European Championships holders.

Dutch courage

Louis van Gaal is expected to revert back to the traditional 4-3-3 formation used by Netherlands teams for years when they face the Socceroos in Porto Alegre, where the cool temperature - between 12-16 degrees centigrade - will be more familiar to the European side.

There are no injury worries for the Dutch, so there will be no changes in personnel and one of Daley Blind and Daryl Janmaat could be moved into midfield.

Meanwhile, Australia boss Ange Postecoglou has a selection problem to address after right-back Ivan Franjic was ruled out for the rest of the tournament after picking up a hamstring injury in the 3-1 defeat to Chile in the opening match. Ryan McGowan replaced him in that game and will do the same, as the Socceroos know a defeat will leave them on the brink of elimination.

The teams are...

Netherlands: Cillessen, Vlaar, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Janmaat, Blind, De Jong, De Guzman, Van Persie (c), Sneijder, Robben.

Australia: Ryan; McGowan, Wilkinson, Spiranovic, Davidson, Cahill, Leckie, Oar, Jedniak (c), McKay,  Bresciano.

Tim Cahill was once again the man to score for Australia in their defeat to Chile, a trademark huge leap and powerful header at the back post made him the first Australian to score in three separate World Cups.

Netherlands are heavy favourites going into the match following their first round display, but the Cahill and co can take some positives of their record against the Dutch; in three previous meetings they have never lost against Oranje, drawing two and winning one - guess who scored against them in the first meeting?

Prediction

While Australia's record aganst Holland is strong, both Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben will be feeling invincible after both scoring twice against Spain and they are two of the best attacking players in the world when on form.

Van Gaal's side were set up to defend and counter in the first game, but they will be expected to take the game to the opposition this time around, which could give Cahill a chance to exploit more space in and around the Dutch defence - Van Gaal's attacking options may be abundant, but he doers not have the strongest defensive unit.

For that reason, it should not be a great surprise if the Socceroos manage to snatch a goal, but they are not defensively sound enough to keep out Van Persie and Co: 3-1 to the Netherlands.

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Topics:
World Cup
Football
Robin Van Persie

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