Brazil vs. Holland at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa 10:30 AM EST Friday July 2, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Match Odds: Brazil 1.95 / Holland 4.15 / Draw 3.40
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Brazil -115 / Holland +320 / Draw +235
On the first quarterfinal match up on Friday, Holland takes on five-time World Cup champion Brazil. Brazil has looked solid so far in the World Cup winning the Group of Death and then blanking a solid Chile team in their last match. These 2 teams met in the quarterfinals in the 1994 World Cup with Brazil winning 3-2 on their way to capturing their fourth title.
In each teams round of 16 matches on Monday Brazil beat Chile 3-0 and Holland beat Slovakia 2-1.
Holland has one of the best offenses in the tournament and they finally showed what they could to having 9 shots on target in their quarterfinals win over Slovakia. The Dutch defense, which was thought to be a weakness coming into the World Cup, has only conceded 2 goals in the tournament and one was a penalty.
Holland may be dealing with some team issues, as Robin van Persie was upset after being substituted in the team’s 2-1 win over Slovakia and later stated teammate Wesley Sneijder was the player that should have been taken out. Head coach Bert van Marwijk called a team meeting to cool things down, but the 2 players have had issues in the past. They need to be on the same page against a great Brazilian defense.
Even though in their match against Chile Brail had the exact time of possession (50% to 50%) and only took 2 more shots (17 to 15), but they dominated the match not allowing Chile to get good scoring chances. They were solid on the counter-attack and they will be facing another attacking squad in Holland and if they play like they did against Chile they will be very tough to beat.
Holland attacked the Slovakia defense with 9 shots on goal and they will have to do that against Brazil. However, they have to be careful when they turn the ball over on offense, as Brazil has a great counter-attack. Even with 9 shots on target Holland did not have the game breaking down the Slovakian defense, which they will have to do against Brazil. The Dutch have to take advantage of scoring opportunities against Brazil, as they will likely not have many.
Holland and Brazil have met 3 times in the World Cup, with one win apiece and one draw.
Holland Recent Form:
6/28/ 2010 Holland 2 Slovakia (World Cup)
6/24/2010 Holland 2 Cameroon 1 (World Cup)
6/19/2010 Holland 1 Japan 0 (World Cup)
6/14/2010 Holland 2 Denmark 0 (World Cup)
Brazil Recent Form:
6/28/2010 Brazil 3 Chile 0 (World Cup)
6/25/2010 Brazil 0 Portugal 0 (World Cup)
6/20/2010 Brazil 3 Ivory Coast 1 (World Cup
6/15/2010 Brazil 2 North Korea 1 (World Cup)
Brazil midfielder Elano has an injured ankle and he is questionable for this big match.
Dutch striker Arjen Robben is still nursing a hamstring injury, but he will play in this match and Holland really needs him to pressure the Brazil defense.
Robben and Robin van Persie are a solid striker duo, but it is MF Wesley Sneijder that leads the team in goals in South Africa. This trio has to play a great match, but they will not be able to break down Brazil’s defense and they will not score.
Kaka is the man in the midfield for Brazil and he is great at setting up the offense and spurning the counter-attack. He may not score in this match, but he will assist on a goal or two.
Look for either Robinho or Luis Fabiano to score in this match for Brazil, as the strikers have played well in the World Cup, especially against Chile, and they will be a nightmare for the Dutch defense.
Brazil G Jlio Csar will be tested in this match, but with Brazil’s defense he will keep a clean sheet, as Holland will not score.
Jason’s Pick: Brazil will face the pressure of the Dutch attack and break away for several counter-attacking scoring chances. Brazil will connect on a couple of goals while their defense will stymie Holland’s offense. Brazil will win this match 2-0 and advance to the semifinals.