Greetings BETHOME punters! The quarterfinal stage of the World Cup gets underway today with a derby match in port Elizabeth between Holland and Brazil, which floods back the memories of their classic encounter at the same stage of the tournament in the USA 16 years ago.
The Dutch side coached by Bert Van Marwijk have won 4 in as many games during this World Cup against easier opposition but we await to see what odds they will be given against a strong opponent because in big matches they never produce the goods. The Dutch are aiming to firstly reach the semifinals, which they managed 12 years ago, while they also have an eye on trying to win the Cup. It appears likely they will field a 4-3-3 formation with De Jong and Van Bommel the defensive midfielders just behind Sneijder, who will be handed a free role, while Kuyt, Robben and Van Persie will spearhead the attack. De Jong, Van Persie, Van Der Wiel, Van Bronckhorst, Kuyt, Van Der Vaart, Stekelenburg and Robben are all one yellow card from suspension and this is causing the coach a headache.
Probable Line-up: Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, Van Bommel, De Jong, Sneijder, Robben, Kuyt, Van Persie.
This Brazil team have done quite well in the World Cup so far and in their last match easily accounted for Chile 3-0. Their midfield was very tight but simultaneously productive. Dunga has put together a tough fighting unit which isn’t lacking in creativity, as Kaka rediscovers his former self and Robinho has admirably assumed the second striker’s role alongside Fabiano to make them very dangerous up front. Midfielder Ramires is suspended, while Baptista, Felipe Melo and Elano are injured. Kaka, Juan, Felipe Melo and Luis Fabiano are one booking from suspension.
Probable Line-up: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Bastos, Josue, Gilberto Silva, Daniel Alves, Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano.
Selection: I think the Dutch will once again come up short when the going gets tough and will back a victory for Brazil, who I think will also lift the trophy.