Netherlands end their World Cup campaign on Saturday night in the 3rd place play-off against hosts Brazil.

  • By Michael Bell
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ned brThe chances of Netherlands winning their first ever World Cup were ended on Wednesday night when they succumb to a penalty shoot-out against Argentina. However the Dutch will still go into the third place play-off  looking for a win which will send them home on a high.

Having never won a third place play-off in their history it gives Netherlands a mini objective to aim for, in what will be Louis van Gaal’s last match in charge of the national team. Van Gaal has restored pride to the national team, which was divided after the disappointing Euro 2012 campaign, and has worked wonders to steer them to the semi-finals. After the match with Brazil, Van Gaal will leave to join Manchester United with Guus Hiddink taking over Netherlands as preparations for Euro 2016 begin.

It is not known what formation Netherlands will use against Brazil or what players will take to the pitch with Van Gaal saying he will pick only the fittest physically, and mentally.

Players like Memphis Depay, Jonathan de Guzman or Jordy Clasie may be given the chance to impress from the start, while Michael Vorm will be looking to get some action as he is currently the only player in the 23-man squad not to play some point in the tournament.

In what will likely be their last World Cup match, Arjen Robben, and Wesley Sneijder will be hoping to chase down Johnny Reps record as top scorer in the tournament for Netherlands. The legendary forward has seven goals, while Sneijder and Robben are currently on six.

World Cup hosts Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in their semi-final and it remains to be seen in what mood the team takes to the field on Saturday. Many of the players were left distraught by the defeat on Wednesday, and they may look to use the game against the Dutch as a way of saying sorry to the Brazilian fans.

Brazil welcome back captain Thiago Silva who missed the semi-final, and are likely to make several changes to the side that was dismantled easily by the Germans.

Past Meetings:

Netherlands wins: 3

Brazil wins: 3

Draws: 5

At the World Cup the two nations have met four times with Netherlands winning twice, Brazil once in ninety minutes, while in the 1998 tournament the Brazilians triumphed on penalties after a 1-1 draw. The last meeting was back in 2010 when a Wesley Sneijder double saw the Dutch win 2-1.

Conclusion:

They may not be returning home with a trophy but Netherlands have done brilliantly this World Cup, and have made the nation proud. One final win on Saturday would be a fitting end to the tournament, and a nice send off for coach Louis van Gaal, who has achieved wonders since taking over.

Hup Holland Hup!




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