This match offers a different proposition for both sides, with a win all but securing Holland a place in the last 16, while Australia need points to keep their slim qualification chances alive. Holland will face a different style of football against Australia, who will be direct and try and utilise Tim Cahill’s aerial ability, which caused Chile a lot of problems in their opening match. Although Australia are trying to improve their style of play under Postecoglou, their group has dictated that direct football will give them the best chance of competing. Meanwhile, Holland will have to play differently and battle when they don’t have the ball. Also they will have a lot more possession than they did against Spain.
Holland surprised a lot of people in their first match as they embarrassed Spain by playing devastating counter attacking football, with Arjen Robben showing that he is one of the world’s best players. Their defence coped well with the Spanish attack with Ron Vlaar and Daley Blind impressing. The Aston Villa defender will be crucial against Australia as he has the aerial presence to prevent Tim Cahill from causing too much damage. While Robin van Persie will see this as an opportunity to push his claim for the golden boot.
Their opponent’s were never fancied to go through the group, but they managed a very accomplished performance against Chile and were unlucky to lose the match. The South American’s struggled to deal with their physicality and the Australian’s will be hoping that it causes Holland similar problems. They will be keen to get off to a better start as Chile scored twice in the opening ten minutes, which gave Australia almost no chance from the off. Their reaction was impressive, but they need to avoid conceding an early goal against Holland.
- Robin van Persie has scored ten goals in his last nine matches for his country. If he maintains that form, he will be a shoo in for the golden boot.
- Meanwhile, Tim Cahill is also in prolific form for his country, scoring four goals in his last four matches. These two will be key on Wednesday.
Arjen Robben is one of the best wingers in the world and has become more consistent over the last couple of seasons at Bayern Munich. It’s easy to see that Pep Guardiola has had a massive impact on him, as his game has come on a lot since the Spaniard took over at the German club, scoring eleven goals and getting six assists. He used his pace devastatingly against Spain and was clinical with the chances he got. Against a defence which looked vulnerable against Chile, you wouldn’t bet against Robben adding to his goal tally at this summer’s World Cup. This tournament is likely to be his best opportunity to write himself into footballing history and become known as a great player. He has the domestic trophies to his name, now he needs to make an impact internationally.
Australia were never fancied to make an impact this summer, but Tim Cahill showed in the first game that he has the aerial ability to cause any side problems. He scored an excellent header, while he came close to scoring again from another header, only for it to be disallowed. He is currently playing in the MLS for the New York Red Bulls and he has only scored one goal. However he has the skill set to make an impact against every side in Group B. The Australian’s may be seen as the whipping boys of the group, but they showed in their opening match that they won’t be a pushover, with Cahill integral to their plans.
Holland have no new injury concerns and are set to name an unchanged line up.
Australia will be without Ivan Franjic, who had to be substituted in the Chile match due to a hamstring injury.
Australia will give Holland a tough physical game with lots of crosses into the box. Bruno Martins Indi and Ron Vlaar will have to be on top form to prevent Tim Cahill from adding to his goal tally. However, Holland should be too strong for Australia and I can see Robben and Van Persie scoring again.