Brazil World Cup Group B: Netherlands vs Chile

By on June 23, 2014

Netherlands and Chile will meet each other in their final group game of the World Cup with both having already qualified for the knockout round and now fighting to finish on top of the group table.

Netherlands have made their way into the knockout round in a brilliant fashion and their performances in both their group games were more than what Louis van Gaal could ever ask for. They completely demolished Spain in their opening game with a 5-1 victory on the night where both Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben scored twice. Their second game was a bit more tight as they went up against the Ausies. Australia gave van Gaal’s men a scare when they came back from 1-0 down to lead the game 2-1 in the first ten minutes of the second half. However, the Dutch were in no modd of giving away their lead and made a comback of there own and ended the game with a 3-2 win. The two successive wins, and Spain’s two successive losses meant that Louis van Gaal’s side had qualified for the knockout round. Thir place in the next round of fixtures is secure but they won’t rest just yet as van Gaal will want his team to keep a perfect record in the group stages and finish the group stages with 9 points. Netherlands are attempting to take nine points from the group stage for the second World Cup in a row.

Another win in this game will mean that they will finish above Chile and potentially avoid Brazil in the knockout round which is a huge advantage for any team. Winner of this group will face the runner up of Group A which will most probably be Croatia or Mexico, who can be regarded as wekaer opponents as compared to Brazil. Louis van Gaal has been using the 3-5-2 formation in both his previous games with the wingbacks providing most of the width. However, with a few injuries problems, he will consider it an ideal chance to try a different formationa nd the Oranje are expected to use the 4-3-3 system in this game with the fullbacks moving to their traditional positions. Chile are a very hard working side and they apply pressure in a very coordinated fashion with pace and a 4-3-3 formation will definitely give Netherlands much more control in midfield and provide cover for the defence. This will be the second ever meeting between these sides. Netherlands won the last meeting by the drawing of lots after a 2-2 game during the 1928 Olympic tournament. The Netherlands have failed to win their two games against South American opposition when the World Cup has been held in South America (0-0 v Peru and 1-3 v Argentina in 1978). The Dutch have won three of the last four World Cup games in which they’ve gone behind.

The Netherlands will fae one problem ahead of this game as star striker Robin van Persie is suspended for this game as he picked up a yellow card in each of the previous group games. His absence will leave a gap in attack and van Gaal will be hoping that Klaas jan Huntelaar can be as effective as the Manchester United forward. Netherlands have not lost a World Cup group game since 1994.

Chile have been phenomenal in this World Cup winning a lot of praise and many hearts while breaking a few as well, in their previous two group games. They played their opening game against Australia in what was one of the few very exciting games of this year’s event . They took the lead early on through Alexis Sanchez with Jorge Valdivia adding a second soon after. They game then settled and while both sides kept attacking, the build up did slow down a bit. Australia decreased the deficit in the 2nd half and fought very hard to find the equalizer till the final whistle but Jorge Sampaoli’s men held on and then went on to add a third in the dying minutes of the game to secure all three points. The second game against Spain was even more interesting as Spain were expected to retaliate after their thrashing at the hands of the Dutch. However, Chile were even more impressive in that game, completely nullifying the Spanish attack and not allowing them any time or space on the ball. They took the lead in the 1st half and fought very well to defend it. They then went on to score the second goal in the 2nd half and effectively secure their place in the knockout rounds, knocking Spain out of the World Cup.

Before the start of the World Cup, they were considered the underdogs and many expected Spain and Netherlands to qualify from this group. However Chile have shown the world that they are here to play and make a name for themselves. With two wins in their opeing to games, they have already secured their place in the knockout round and are now fighting for a perfect record in the group stages and Sampaoli will bee keen to finish the froup stages with 9 points out of 9. All three points from this one will see them finish on top of the group, above the Dutch and give hem the chance to possibly avoid Brazil in the knockout phases as the winner of this group will face the runner up from Group A in the round of 16. Even if they fail to get all three points, their place in the next round is safe and secure and the only threat they will face is of facing Brazil in the next round.

With the way Chile are performing in this World Cup, added to the fact how the big guns have failed to make an impact in this year’s event, many tip the Chileans to go very far in and if they can keep their focus and maintain a stern belief in themselves, then they have a chance of even making it into the final. Their performance against the Dutch will be a good measure of how effectively they can sustain pressure.

The Netherlands will be without Robin van Persie who is suspended for this game after picking up two yellow cards in the first two games. Klaas jan Huntelaar will start in his place. Bruno Martins Indi picked up a knock after a collision in the last game and he will be unavailable for this game as well. With a switch to the 4-3-3, Wijnaaldum, Clasie and Fer will compete with each other for that vacant spot to start in midfield. Sneijder will likely be rested for this game with Memphis Depay being handed a start.

Chile have no real injur worries ahead of the game. Arturo Vidal was facing some discomfort in training and might be benched for this game if the coach considers it too much of a risk for him to start. Valdivia might replace him in that instance.

DATE: June 23, 2014


VENUE: Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo

REFEREE: B. Gassama

Netherands (4-3-3):- Cillessen; Blind, Vlaar, Vrij, Janmaat; Guzman, de Jong, Wijnaldum; Depay, Huntelaar, Robben
Chile (3-4-1-2):- Bravo; Silva, Medel, Jara; Mena, Aranguiz, Diaz, Isla; Vidal; Vargas, Sanchez

Netherlands:- 4-2 vs Australia
Chile:- 2-0 vs Spain

AUTHOR’s PREDICTION: Netherlands – Chile / draw

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