Netherlands vs Mexico World Cup 2014 preview: Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and the players who could make the difference

A look at the game changers who will be in action in Fortaleza

Simon Rice@simonrice
Sunday 29 June 2014 13:16

The Netherlands take on Mexico this afternoon in another mouth-watering World Cup tie.

With three wins from three the Dutch go into the game high on confidence and the strong favourites with the bookies but they will have a game on their hands against a Mexico side that managed to progress from a tough group themselves.

So who might be the players that make the difference in Fortaleza? We take a look at the game changers who'll be in action and hoping to win their nation a place in the quarter-finals.


Robin van Persie

The Manchester United striker returns from suspension and will spearhead the Dutch attack. The former Arsenal player has scored 21 goals in his last 25 international appearances and doing it on the biggest stage hasn't fazed him either. He's scored three goals in the two World Cup games he's played in so far, including that header against Spain. It's no secret he's Louis van Gaal's main man.

Arjen Robben

Bayern Munich winger Robben has been in similarly ominous goal scoring form to RVP with eight in his last nine appearances for the Dutch. In his last seven World Cup appearances he has scored or assisted seven goals (five goals, two assists). He's been the stand-out player in the Netherlands rapid back-to-front system.

Arjen Robben celebrates the 5-1 victory over Spain

Memphis Depay

This has been a World Cup for substitutes making big impacts and among the most impressive has been Memphis Depay. The 20-year-old has been used from the bench twice - against Australia and Chile - and both times he scored. Having arrived at the tournament as something of a wildcard, the pace and power he's displayed in the minutes he's played have already seen him linked with a move from PSV Eindhoven to a host of bigger clubs.

Memphis Depay celebrates his goal against Chile


Guillermo Ochoa

The man who will be the last line of defence when trying to keep the Dutch at bay will be Guillermo Ochoa. Against Brazil he made a string of fantastic saves that managed to get Gordon Banks trending on Twitter they were so impressive. That 0-0 draw against the hosts proved crucial in seeing his side through to the knock-out phase. Just one goal conceded so far will ensure the free agent goes into this came confident he can keep the 10-goal Dutch at bay.

Giovanni dos Santos

The former Tottenham player might not have a goal to his name - but he should have had a couple. During Mexico's first match against Cameroon he had two perfectly good efforts scratched off but fortunately for Mexico it hasn't been enough to dent his confidence. The 25-year-old, who now plays for Villarreal, has been a menace alongside Oribe Peralta.

Giovani Dos Santos

Javier Hernandez

Regular watchers of the Premier League and Manchester United will know that Hernandez has been compared with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for good reason. The Mexican has made a habit of coming off the bench to make an impact for his club and that's exactly how Miguel Herrera has opted to deploy the 26-year-old, despite his 36 international goals for El Tricolor. The decision to start him on the bench was vindicated when 20 minutes after coming on against Croatia he found the back of the net.

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