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Netherlands vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Five reasons Netherlands will win

Two undefeated squads are face off at Sao Paulo bidding for a place in the final alongside Germany

The Netherlands started the World Cup with a bang when they stunned reigning champions Spain and will be looking to end it the same way with the coveted prize travelling back with them to Amsterdam. In 2010 they fell at the last hurdle, but Arjen Robben and his team look in good shape to go the distance this time around. But if they are to have a shot at glory, they must first pass through Argentina. We take a look at some reasons why they might do just that...

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1. Louis van Gaal

The Netherlands manager has met plenty of success in his career, winning the Eredevisie, La Liga, Copa del Rey, the Bundesliga, hampions League and the Uefa Cup (and will be looking to add to that haul when he comes to the Premier League next season). However he has never achieved international glory. This is Van Gaal’s last chance with the Oranje before he joins up with Manchester United, and he will not want to be arriving at Old Trafford as a loser. His successful decision to bring Tim Krul on for the penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica signals this is a manager high on confidence and making the right calls.

2. World Class players

The Oranje are one of the World Cup squads to have got the best out of their top players. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie scored a memorable goal against title holders Spain, Arjen Robben has tore every defence apart with his sprints and Wesley Sneijder has officially returned from the shadows. The team is hungry, but more importantly their stars appear determined to leave their mark on Brazil at all costs.

Arjen Robben is a key man for the Netherlands


3. Argentina missing Angel Di Maria

All the focus has been on Lionel Messi when it comes to Argentina but the absence of Angel Di Maria through injury should not be underestimated. Rafael Benitez explains why he'll be such a loss in his exclusive Independent column. The Netherlands should be buoyed by the Real Madrid player's absence. They can also take heart from a misfiring Sergio Ageuro who is also struggling for fitness.


4. Momentum

Louis van Gaal’s team started with the strongest momentum of any side at the World Cup when they obliterated World champions Spain. They scored 12 goals in the first four games before being halted in their free-scoring tracks by Costa Rica. Despite being held in the quarter-finals, this looks a team with an attacking force as lethal as any other at this tournament.

Robin van Persie leaps to equalise against Spain


5. European

Before the tournament, it was pointed out that no European team had won the World Cup when it has been held in South America. Germany's win over Brazil last night showed that where your from is no barrier to success and will have spurred the Netherlands on to set up a final featuring two of the greatest rivals in world football.