There is no team in the World Cup that is as confident as the Netherlands right now after the 2010 finalists absolutely demolished the World and European champions Spain with a decisive win of 5-1. However, if the Oranje want to secure their ticket to the Round of 16 they will need to keep their heads together as Australia could suddenly end their celebrations.
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has proven that his fitness is up to par for this summer’s competition as he netted two goals, with one of them being a sensational header that is considered the best goal in the tournament thus far.
Manager Louis van Gaal is also fortunate enough to be dealing with no injuries and must be in great spirits as compliments pour in, praising him as the man that brought back the Dutch style of Total Football.
Australia manager Ange Postecoglou will be eagerly looking for a result and will have to do without defender Ivan Franjic who was ruled out of the tournament after a hamstring strain suffered against Chile. Ryan McGowan will take his place at the back but much will be expected by the experience of former Everton forward Tim Cahill.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 5pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Australia 0 Netherlands 0, International Friendly, October 2009
Netherlands 1 (Huntelaar) Australia 2 (Kewell, Kennedy), International Friendly, September 2008
Netherlands 1 (van Nistelrooy) Australia 1 (Cahill), International Friendly, June 2006
Even though the Netherlands are the favourites today, tradition has been against them as the Oranje have never beaten the Socceroos.
Robin van Persie has scored 10 goals in his last nine international appearances. Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben has amassed seven goals in an equal amount of caps.
Attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder is just three World Cup goals away from surpassing Johnny Rep and becoming the all-time top scorer for the Netherlands in the finals. The Galatasaray player has scored five goals.
Thanks to his goal last week, Tim Cahill has reached 33 international goals and is still Australia’s all-time top scorer. Former Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has amassed 109 appearances which make him the most capped player.
This is the Socceroos’s fourth World Cup appearance and they achieved their best record in 2006 where they qualified to the Round of 16 against Italy.
Australia to win: 16.1
Netherlands to win: 2.9
TV: Live on ITV at 5pm
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