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Brazil v Netherlands team sheet

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Brazil and Netherlands go head-to-head this evening in the game they were both desperate hoping to avoid: the dreaded World Cup third-place play-off at the Estádio Nacional de Brasilia.

Most nations would feel some sense of pride at having reached the semi-finals, but for Brazil - a nation still reeling from last Tuesday’s shock 7-1 defeat to Germany - there is only room for pain and thoughts of what could have been.

The same applies to the Netherlands, albeit to a far lesser extent. The Oranje were eliminated in the World Cup semi-finals by Argentina last Wednesday - but only after a gruelling 120-minute match and subsequent penalty shoot-out.

World Cup 2010 third-place play-off: Germany v Uruguay

Final send off for Van Gaal and Scolari

But both nations must pick themselves up with this clash. Third place might not be widely regarded as an important achievement, but it remains an achievements nevertheless.

Furthermore, this will almost certainly be the final matches for the coaches of both Brazil and the Netherlands - and neither Luiz Felipe Scolari nor Louis van Gaal will want to bow out with a defeat.

Scolari is expected to be relieved of his duties by the Brazilian Football Federation - who are already looking at replacements for the man affectionately known in his home country as Felipao - while Van Gaal will begin the next chapter of his career as manager of Manchester United next week.

Starting line-ups

Brazil: César, Maicon, Silva, Luiz, Maxwell, Gustavo, Paulinho, Ramires, Oscar, Willian, Jô.

Netherlands: Cillessen, Kuyt, De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Blind, Clasie, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie.

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It might only be the third-place play-off, but it's clear from Van Gaal's team selection that he wants his side to win the match.

The veteran Dutch coach has picked arguably his strongest eleven, with Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie all starting for the Oranje.

Scolari, meanwhile, was left with little option but to make several changes to his line-up. Jo was picked ahead of the ineffective Fred, although David Luiz keeps his place at the heart of defence, despite a dreadful display against Germany.

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Topics:
Brazil Football
Manchester United
Neymar
David Luiz
World Cup
Robin Van Persie
Arjen Robben
Football

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