Netherlands face Chile on Monday evening in a crucial game which will decide who comes out on top in Group B.

  • By Michael Bell
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ned ausWith two wins each, both nations start the game on six points, but with Netherlands currently having a superior goal difference, Louis van Gaal’s side only need a draw to seal top spot.

Sealing first place is crucial as it will probably see Netherlands avoid a meeting with hosts Brazil in the next round, and face either Croatia or Mexico for a place in the quarter finals.

Netherlands go into the game without inform captain and striker Robin van Persie, who is suspended, while Bruno Martins Indi also misses out with concussion. The loss of Van Persie is a blow with the Manchester United forward having netted three goals in two games so far, but in Jeremain Lens, Klaas jan Huntelaar or Memphis Depay, Van Gaal has options.

Louis van Gaal confirmed in is press conference that he would make a number of changes to the side that beat Australia 3-2 last Wednesday as a number of players are struggling with fitness. The coach trialed out a 4-3-3 in training with Dirk Kuyt and Jeremain Lens joining Arjen Robben up front, but this was most likely an experiment, with Van Gaal set to stick with a 5-3-2.

Possible Netherlands XI: Cillessen, Janmaat, Blind, Vlaar, De Vrij, Veltman, De Jong, Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Robben, Lens

Chile have been a joy to watch so far this World Cup with their quick counter attacking style proving very effective against Australia and Spain. They line up in a 5-3-2 like Netherlands, with Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, and Eduardo Vargas the danger men up front.

Coach Jorge Sampaoli has three injury doubts ahead of the game, with Arturo Vidal, Charles Aránguiz and Mauricio Isla all missing training ahead of the game. Juventus star Vidal is expected to be rested by Sampaoli ahead of the knockout rounds, with Jorge Valdivia coming in to replace him.

Possible Chile XI: Bravo, Isla, Mena, Medel, Jara, Silva, Diaz, Valdivia, Gutierrez, Sanchez, Vargas

With Chile so focused on attacking, Netherlands will potentially sit back and soak up the pressure before looking to Robben to make runs behind the Chilean defence, and punish them on the counter. This plan worked against Spain, and Van Gaal will hope it has the same effect with Chile.

Netherlands have played well in the tournament so far, and they will hope to give themselves the best chance of progressing as far as the semi-finals by beating Chile on Monday.

The South American’s may prove to be the toughest opponent the Dutch have faced so far, but if the defence can cut out the mistakes they made against Australia, and if Arjen Robben can get a run at the Chile goal, then Netherlands can come out with a win.

Hup Holland!

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