Netherlands and Chile will clash in the final Group B match at the FIFA World Cup in a contest which will determine which of the two teams qualify for the Round of 16 as group winners. The match will be played at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo on Monday, June 23.
The Dutch lie just below Chile in 15th place on the Coca-Cola FIFA world rankings but both teams have had an exceptional campaign so far winning both their respective matches against Spain and Australia. Dare I add, with relative ease too.
While Chile had the easier opener against Australia which the La Roja won 3-1, the Dutch humiliated Spain 5-1 in their opener. In the second round of group matches, Chile defeated a one-dimensional Spanish team 2-0 while Netherlands came from behind to defeat Australia 3-2.
Holland have had a great tournament so far. They started off with revenge for the final in South Africa 2010 and followed it up with a well-deserved victory against Australia as they had to come from 2-1 down to claim victory. The matches showed two facets of Louis Van Gaal’s team as they won the first match with a 5-3-2 formation and the second on a traditional Dutch 4-3-3 setup.
Van Gaal changed from a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 when he introduced Memphis Depay withdrawing an ailing Bruno Martins Indi against the Socceroos. The move paid rich dividends as Holland began to terrorize the Australians with plenty of width and Depay scoring the winner from long range.
Netherlands also boast of Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie up front – two players who look to be in the form of their lives as they terrorize defences at football’s showpiece event. Robben is 7/1 (888Sport) to open the scoring in this match.
The Oranje are a team which looks to have a definite plan of how to go about their games and that is no surprise given that they have Van Gaal as their coach. Their performances so far have been quite excellent and with the host of attacking talent that they possess, it is not surprising to see this team march forward with purpose.
Chile, on the other hand have surprised the footballing world when they knocked the defending champions out of the world cup with a 2-0 win over Spain. The defence looked shaky in the first match when Jorge Sampaoli paired a couple of fullbacks at the center of defence in the opener against Australia. However, the La Roja have coped well since then as they look to finish the group stages in good fashion.
Arturo Vidal, Mauricio Isla, Jorge Valdivia, Charles Aranguiz and company are mainstays in the midfield for Chile. While Vidal is the conductor of the orchestra and the box to box midfielder, Valdivia is the playmaker. Isla and Aranguiz have made healthy contributions from out wide with the latter having scored once in the two games that Chile have played.
Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez partners Valencia’s Eduardo Vargas in attack for the Chileans and have each scored once in two matches for the La Roja. StanJames, Boylesports, and Betfair are offering odds of 7/1 for Sanchez to open the scoring and 15/2 for Vargas doing the same for Chile.
Van Persie will miss this game because of the two yellow cards he received in the first two games which should allow Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a game up front.
What makes this a vital game is that the losing team will end up being second in the group and could face Brazil in their second round match. This should be a close match but fancy the free scoring Netherlands at a decent price in this one.
Netherlands to win: 17/10 (bet365)
Over +2.5 goals to be scored: 13/16 (Unibet)
Huntelaar to be anytime scorer: 39/19 (888Sport)