Holland at Denmark Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg 7:30 AM Monday June 14, 2010
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Match Odds: Holland 1.50 / Denmark 6.00 / Draw 3.70
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Holland -208 / Denmark +550 / Draw +300
Bet on World Cup soccer games using your credit card at the web’s biggest online bookmaker: Sportsbook.
On Monday afternoon in the Soccer City Stadium in the opening Group E match Holland faces Denmark. Holland looked more than solid in World Cup qualifying, as they went undefeated and they averaged more than two goals per match. Denmark, surprisingly, won their European World Cup qualifying group ahead of such teams as Sweden and 2006 World Cup semifinalist Portugal.
Holland is coming to South Africa on fire, as they own all 3 of their tune-up matches and 2 of the teams they beat will be playing in the World Cup (Ghana and Mexico). In those matches the Dutch scored 12 goals and only gave up 3. Conversely the Danes only won one of their 3 tune-up matches losing to the 2 teams that will be playing in the World Cup (South Africa and Australia).
Unlike Holland Denmark does not have a ton of world-class players, but they play a great team game and their midfield is solid and they are great at controlling the match.
The Dutch have a great offense, but a mediocre defense, which has been their MO for quite some time. They have solid strikers and a great midfield, but if the Danes can catch them off-guard they may be in trouble. The team that can win the battle of the midfield has a great chance to win this match. Holland has more world-class players and they have the edge and Denmark will have to play a great team game in order to pull off the Group E upset.
Denmark will have to count on a strong defensive that includes center backs Daniel Agger and Simon Kjr as well as G Thomas Srensen.
One factor that may come into the match is the altitude, as Soccer City is at 1,753 meters above sea level. Both teams came to the city a few days early, but the bench may have a big say in this match if the starters can’t go the full 90 minutes. If that is the case Holland has the advantage, as they have better reserves.
Holland Recent Form
6/5/2010 Holland 6 Hungary 1 (Friendly)
6/1/2010 Holland 4 Ghana 1 (Friendly)
5/26/2010 Holland 2 Mexico 1 (Friendly)
Denmark Recent Form
6/5/2010 South Africa 1 Denmark 0 (Friendly)
6/1/2010 Australia 1 Denmark 0 (Friendly)
5/27/2010 Denmark 2 Senegal 0 (Friendly)
The key of Denmark in this match will be to try to contain Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder. These guys can both score and Sneijder is especially deadly on set pieces, as he showed while helping Inter Milan win the Champions League title. I think this duo is too dangerous to be held scoreless in this match, as one or both will find the back of the net.
Center backs Daniel Agger and Simon Kjr of Denmark have a tall task to keep the high scoring Dutch from scoring.
Denmark G Thomas Srensen is solid, but do not look for him to keep a clean sheet in this match.
Denmark has to be happy that they will be facing Dutch G Maarten Stekelenburg and not Edwin van der Sar. Holland’s defense has to really worry about striker Nicklas Bendtner, as he is the Danes big gun up front. If they can keep him from finding the back of the net they will be in good shape since Denmark does bot feature many other scoring options.
The Dutch like to push forward on offense and will do so all match, but they have to be wary of the counter-attack.
Jason’s Pick: Denmark will put up a fight in the match, but I think that Holland’s offense is simply too strong to contain. The Dutch will control the ball in the midfield, which will counter the fact that they do not have a good defense. After an initial feeling out period in this match Holland will find a way to score, as they will win this match 2-0 or 3-0.