This has always been the match nobody wants to play as the reality of missing the finals is usually still fresh in the minds of the players. For Brazil, it could be the first step towards healing after the absolute humiliation they suffered at the hands of Germany in the semi final. For the Dutch who have already exceeded their pre-tournament expectations, they can go out and enjoy the experience.
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Despite the talk about healing, it will not be easy for the Brazil team to face their fans once more after that display that sent the nation into despair. Yet again, the Brazilian dream of winning the World Cup on home soil has eluded them. In one of the biggest shocks of the FIFA World Cup (not really a shock that Germany won, but the fact that they won 7-1), the Brazilian defense was shambolic, the midfield was overrun and the attack was non-existent. Defensively, they will be much improved with the return of Captain Thiago Silva. In midfield, they should also fare better as the Dutch midfield is not as formidable as the German version but attack is where the worries continue for Brazil. Only Neymar- who is out through injury- has had a decent World Cup of Brazil’s attackers and it remains to be seen how Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari rectifies this problem.
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After playing pragmatic football for most of the tournament, I believe the Dutch will take off the shackles and go all out against Brazil. What remains to be seen is whether they will stick to 3-5-2 in a more attacking form or revert to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 formation. After losing on penalties to Argentina in their own semi final match, the Dutch will want to leave the tournament with their pride intact unlike their opponents who have a long way to go if they are to win any modicum of it back.
The Dutch will sense blood in this match and will go for the jugular while Brazil also will try to finish the tournament on a high (sort of) so expect a highly entertaining affair here. The hosts are favourites at 2.15 while a Dutch win is priced at 3.40 and a draw at 3.80. Backing a Dutch upset appeal to me.
With both teams going on the attack and looking to kill the opposition off, I expect them to find the back of the net which is priced at a thin 1.50. More value can be found by backing over 2.5 goals coupled with both teams to score which is quoted 1.80.
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Probable Line ups
Brazil (4-3-3): Cesar; Marcelo, Luiz, Silva, Alves; Ramirez, Paulinho, Oscar; Bernard, Jo, Hulk
Netherlands (3-5-2): Cillessen; Martins Indi, De Vrij, Vlaar; Blind, De Jong, Winjnaldum, Sneidjer, Janmaat; Depay, Huntelaar
Prediction: Brazil 1 – 2 Netherlands