June 14th at 7:30 A.M. EST marks the commencement of Group E action in South Africa’s largest city of Johannesburg. Although the Netherlands and Denmark share different expectations heading into World Cup action, both sides have been in excellent form of late and should provide soccer fans with a riveting match to kick off an early Saturday morning.
Netherlands vs Denmark Odds for June 14th Match:
Over 2.5 (+106)
Under 2.5 (-126)
Perennial powerhouse Netherlands look to build upon an impressive qualifying campaign which saw them concede only two goals in 8 games played. The Flying Dutchmen know that nothing less than a World Cup title will be acceptable this time around, and they will be fully expectant of a tough fixture with the upstart Danes. Their recent success on the grandest stage of soccer has been unimpressive and will eagerly anticipate getting off to a hot start.
They possess a vast array of talented players and are always among the conversation as tournament favorites. 2010 will be no different as coach Bert van Markwijk’s Dutch side will be comprised of a world-class starting 11, which can match up favorably against any of other 31 teams in the competition. The Flying Dutchmen got off to a great start at the recent 2008 European championships as the handily won their group, but will look to avenge a humiliating 3-1 defeat to Russia in the Quarter-Finals.
Their ‘Big Four’ of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Rafael van der Vaart will undoubtedly lead the potent Dutch attack and serve as the team’s greatest asset. However their biggest advantage may also serve as a liability as it will be up to the Dutch coach to find a solution to playing these four at once, at the request of the players. If coach van Markwijk cannot successfully please his players, dissension and internal problems could serve as the main issue of the Dutch side.
The surprising Danish team head into their opening game against the Netherlands filled with confidence and prepared to advance past the group stage. The Danes unexpectedly won a tough qualifying group to get automatic qualification into the final 32, and will look to build on these impressive results. That being said, the Dutch present powerful opposition, and with injury troubles beginning to seep into the Danish camp, they will need to play a mistake-free game for a long 90 minutes if they desire at least a point.
Their anchor at their back end, Palermo star Simon Kjaer will likely be out for their opening match. This is a huge loss for Denmark as their defensive game will surely need to be flawless to contain the offensive talents of the Dutch players.
Historically, coach Morten Olsen prefers to play an attacking brand of soccer, and he will combat the Netherlands’ attack with great strikers of his own. Arsenal revelation Nicklas Bendtner is in fine form heading into competition, leading the way for the Danish attack throughout qualification. He is supplemented by a strong attacking midfielder in captain Jon Dahl Tomasson, and the hard-nosed defensive midfielder Christian Poulsen. These players will need to be fierce in the middle of the field to prevent the Dutch from running all over them.
In this match expect the Danes to be very strong at the back, and even without Kjaer, will not be intimidated by the Dutch inside their own half. Whether or not the Danes can put the ball in the back of the Dutch net is where this game gets interesting. Netherlands also held a great defensive record leading up to this fixture, yet an analysis of their back-four shows that their defenders lack the same pedigree as their offense. They could serve as the weak-link for an otherwise strong Dutch team. Call it a hunch but I fully expect this game to be very tight with the Danish side successfully limiting the chances of the Nethlerlands, and the likes of Bendtner and Tomasson to be dangerous throughout.
Netherlands vs Denmark Match Prediction: Netherlands 1 – Denmark 1
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