Here is another Netherlands vs Uruguay Prediction article written by one of our two World Cup Guest Writers, enjoy!
Despite the legendary soccer history entrenched within the countries of Uruguay and Netherlands, both teams are surprise combatants in this year’s World Cup semifinals.
Uruguay wasn’t even expected to emerge from a strenuous Group A which featured soccer powers like France, and Mexico, as well as the host nation of South Africa. The Uruguayans shocked the world however, and finished atop the table. Progressing through the knockout stages has certainly been an arduous task for them, however they are a resilient bunch, led by star striker Diego Forlan. The Uruguayans possess an extensive history of winning internationally, and will be keen on adding to their already large trophy case.
The Dutch possess a lethal offensive attack, and those strengths have carried them all the way to South Africa’s final four. They really lived up to the old saying of “to be the best, you must beat the best,” as their impressive defeat of Brazil cleared the way for a route to the finals. Although the Oranje haven’t had much success on the world stage, an unexpected matchup against an underdog Uruguayan side may provide the necessary boost for the Netherlands to finally be crowned World Champions.
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Uruguay vs Holland Odds:
Keys to the Game:
Although the Uruguayans have already accomplished a wonderful feat in advancing this far, coach Oscar Tabarez will have to find a way to prolong their magical run without some of their best players. Key midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro will be forced out for the rest of the tournament with a broken right foot, and their skipper Diego Lugano remains highly doubtful entering this fixture, as he is currently hampered with a knee ligament injury. Even worse for Uruguay remains the status of one of their main goal scorers in Luis Suarez. Suarez was infamously red-carded for his handball in the penalty box in the waning minutes of extra-time against Ghana, and has since been suspended for this match.
It will be very interesting to see how Tabarez overcomes these absences. He is blessed with a striker in Diego Forlan who possess an uncanny ability to control the game, and generate goals in any given match. He should give the struggling Dutch defenders fits throughout the 90 minutes. If Uruguay hopes to have any chance of progressing to the World Cup finals, Forlan will surely have to carry his nation on his back.
Probable Starting XI: Muslera; M. Pereira, Scotti, Victorino, A. Pereira; A. Fernandez, Arevalo, Perez, Cavani; Abreu, Forlan
The Dutch have always possessed bundles of quality in international tournaments, yet usually lack the necessary killer-instinct. Although some would suggest they’ve been dealt with a gift matchup on their quest to World Cup glory, thinking like that will likely only result in them getting sent home early yet again. Star midfielder Arjen Robben has shaken off an early injury and rebounded in fine form. As has prolific goal-scorer Robin van Persie, who suffered an elbow injury against the Brazilians, but will be raring to go against Uruguay.
Despite the fine form of the Netherlands, some key suspensions will hurt the Dutch defensive game. Defender Gregory van der Wiel and holding midfielder Nigel de Jong are both banned after being handed with yellow cards against Brazil. Look for Demy de Zeeuw to fill in the middle of the pitch for de Jong, and Khalid Boulahrouz to play right-back for van der Wiel. Although these losses will hurt the chances of the Dutch, their offense is their greatest strength. If the Dutch attack continues at its torrid pace, there may be no stopping the Oranje.
Probable Starting XI: Stekelenburg; Boulahrouz, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst; Van Bommel, De Zeeuw; Kuyt, Sneijder, Van der Vaart; Van Persie
What to Expect:
Despite the impressive feats of Uruguay in the lead-up to this match, the Netherlands still enter the match as heavy favorites. Although they have key absences within their defensive line-up, it pales in comparison to the gaping holes Uruguay will have to deal with. Expect the Dutch to expose these weaknesses and continue with their efficient brand of attacking football. Although it would be a great sentimental story for the Uruguayans to return to the World Cup final, the likes of Sneijder, Robben, and van Persie are simply too talented to allow for it. Look for the Oranje to march to the final match, with their eyes solely set on capturing their first ever World Cup title.
Netherlands vs Uruguay Prediction: Netherlands 2 – Uruguay 1
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