Football Station


Wing It – Netherlands v. Brazil Preview

NETHERLANDS – BRAZIL

“WING IT”

Preview

July 2nd, 2010

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

With no games today and no games tomorrow, the footballing world is left twiddling its thumbs and (if their side is still in the competition) throwing up a Hail Mary or two.  The competition was been slashed from 32 teams to 8, sending 24 squads packing home.  Saturday brings two world heavy weights and two relative underdogs toe to toe in the competition.  South America is represented in every one of the Quarterfinals (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, & Uruguay) , while Europe has three in Germany, Netherlands and Spain.  With the world’s finest footballers sharing the same field this weekend, there are bound to be fireworks.

NETHERLANDS – BRAZIL

Football purists are drooling over this tie and for good reason.  Bayern Munich team mates Mark van Bommel and Arjen Robben take the field against the Inter Milan defensive trio of Lucio, Maicon and Julio Cesar – whom they faced in the Champions League Final.

There isn’t much between the two sides, and it will be down to the wire on Saturday as Wesley Sneijder leads the Dutch against Kaká and the South Americans.  Brazil’s back line is deceptively versatile as it can turn all out defense to attack in seconds through the speedy outside backs who love to get in on the action.  Brazil have conceded only 2 goals in the tournament while scoring 8.  Both of the goals allowed came late against Brazil after they had seemingly won the game, which could be a warning sign that they could be more vulnerable towards the 90 minute mark.  Still, their squad’s overall solidity is nearly absurd, as they are all bonafide stars.  The spine of the team is Julio Cesar, Lucio, Kaká and Luis Fabiano.  Don’t tell me that doesn’t just bring a tear to your eye.

Robben will be hoping to expose Michel Bastos on Saturday.

Netherlands are a similar story, as they have also conceded only 2 goals but have scored 7 times, one less than the Brazilians.  They possess some of the trickiest wingers in the world with not only Arjen Robben, but Eljero Elia and Ryan Babel, as well.  Their strike force is almost second to none with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Robin van Persie, Dirk Kuyt and their wingers frequently getting in on the action.  The Dutch flex their attacking menace insanely well and like to have Sneijder pulling the strings behind the strikers and spraying the ball wide for Robben and Dirk Kuyt to play with.  The former loves to cut in on his left foot and let fly from outside the box, and past experiences against Fiorentina in the Champions League and Slovakia just a few days ago will tell us he is more capable than anyone at making that cut pay dividends.

Key matchups are all over the field, as it happens when world class opponents face each other.  Take your pick.

Robben vs. Bastos.

Van Persie vs. Lucio.

Fabiano vs. Heitinga.

Felipe Melo vs. Sneijder.

Kaká vs. De Jong.

If you had to pick a weak spot in the tie, it might be the Dutch back line.  Captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst is 35 and can be exposed by pace, as he will surely meet against Robinho and Luis Fabiano.  Joris Mathijsen is a sturdy central defender but, like his captain, is susceptible to trickery and the more fleet footed.  Also, Stekelenberg is a great keeper, but he will be up against one

The little magician certainly has some tricks up his sleeve.

of the top attacking lines in the world and might fall victim to a slew of Brazilian shots.  Also, the Dutch are perennial chokers.  They are known to cruise through qualifying, breeze past formidable opponents, only to fall to lesser ones.  Here’s hoping history doesn’t repeat it self and we are in for a real game.

If anybody on the Dutch squad can expose inexperience, it’s Arjen Robben.  Luckily for the Europeans, he will be matched up against one of the least experienced Brazilians in Michel Bastos.  While the Lyon full back is a very capable defensive player, he hasn’t face as much attacking power thus far in South Africa (and that’s saying something after coming out of Group G).

Also, the atmosphere for this game should be off the charts.  The famous Oranje supporters meet the world renowned Brazilian maniacs who live and die by their national team’s results.  Hopefully we can hear some songs now (considering that there isn’t an African team playing) other than the dull drone of the vuvuzelas.

Hopefully, Dunga and Bert van Marwijk will be looking to win the game, rather than trying not to lose.

This game will be made in the wings.  Robinho and Robben hold the keys to a game that will be poised on a knife edge.

Prediction

Brazil 2 – 1 Netherlands (after extra time)

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Transfer News – July 22nd

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July 22nd

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MIRROR

  • Spurs have tabled a £17million bid for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo.
  • Ipswich boss Roy Keane is hoping to sign Danny Simpson from Manchester United and Sunderland midfielder Dean Whitehead.
  • Doncaster are leading the chase for Cardiff midfielder Paul Parry.
  • Sheffield Wednesday want Oldham striker Lee Hughes to replace Marcus Tudgay, should he move to Burnley.
  • AC Milan will not be signing David Beckham on a permanent deal from LA Galaxy.
  • Reading are hoping to land Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt on loan.
  • DAILY EXPRESS
  • Peter Crouch has handed Fulham and Tottenham a massive boost in their bid to sign him by telling Sunderland he does not want to move north.
  • Martin O’Neill’s £2.5million bid for Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin has been rejected by new boss Paul Hart, who says he is not for sale.
  • Didier Drogba is poised to sign a three-year contract after new Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti dubbed him “irreplaceable”.
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson will return to England today in one of the most bizarre appointments in British football history after being offered the post of Notts County’s director of football.

    Real Madrid's Alvaro Negredo has been linked with clubs all over Europe.

    Real Madrid's Alvaro Negredo has been linked with clubs all over Europe.

  • DAILY STAR
  • Steve Bruce is closing in on £10million striker Marouane Chamakh after admitting defeat in his pursuit of Peter Crouch.
  • Sulaiman Al Fahim finally became Portsmouth’s new owner yesterday and immediately handed boss Paul Hart a new two-year contract.
  • Everton are leading the chase to sign Hull defender Michael Turner.
  • Premier League new boys Burnley are on the trail of Norwich midfielder Darel Russell.
  • Wigan have splashed out £1.5m to sign 18-year-old midfielder James McCarthy from Hamilton on a five-year deal.
  • DAILY MAIL
  • Egypt striker Mido has finally returned to Middlesbrough after being fined for missing the start of pre-season training.
  • Burnley are back on the trail of Norwich’s Darel Russell.
  • Chelsea and Manchester City are in the hunt again for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, whose proposed move to Real Madrid has stalled.
  • Sulaiman Al-Fahim has completed his £60million takeover of Portsmouth.
  • Manchester City striker Ched Evans is expected to join Sheffield United for a fee of around £1.5m rising to £3m on appearances.
  • Tottenham are weighing up a move for Man City winger Martin Petrov and are closing in on a deal for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch.
  • Wolves are considering a move for Celtic’s Scotland defender Stephen McManus.
  • THE SUN
    The 6'7'' striker is on the radar of both Fulham and Tottenham after his move to Sunderland collapsed.

    The 6'7'' striker is on the radar of both Fulham and Tottenham after his move to Sunderland collapsed.

  • Craig Bellamy has defended Manchester City’s summer spending spree and blasted: The big four have been doing it for years.
  • AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani insists they will not splash any cash on David Beckham.
  • Nicky Butt will miss the start of Newcastle’s season with a hand injury.
  • Spurs are hot favourites to land Peter Crouch after the England striker pulled the plug on a £12million move to Sunderland.
  • Everton are leading the £8million chase for Hull defender Michael Turner.
  • Alan Pardew will make Ipswich left-back Dan Harding, 25, his first capture as Southampton boss.
  • West Ham have stolen England youth striker Frank Nouble from Chelsea as backup for striker Carlton Cole.
  • Wigan have completed the signing of 18-year-old Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy.
  • DAILY RECORD
  • Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee is hoping to sign Benin international defender Roda Johnson today.
  • Hibs boss John Hughes wants Plymouth goalkeeper Graham Stack as backup for Yves Ma-Kalambay.Rumours Pure, unadulterated rumours from around the internet.  Many claim to have inside connections, or themselves be connected with clubs.  Don’t believe it all, but if it makes you feel better…go ahead and believe it.
  • The Hammers will offload Dean Ashton to Celtic for £8m in two installments
  • Xabi Alonso’s move to Real Madrid seems to be stalling, and Manchester City look to capitalize.
  • A source with good friends inside Liverpool FC says David Villa will sign on with the Merseyside club shortly.

    Arsenal are said to be courting Dutchman Klaas Jan-Huntelaar.

    Arsenal are said to be courting Dutchman Klaas Jan-Huntelaar.

  • It was heard on good authority that Aston Villa will come back in with another bid for Sylvain Distin on Wednesday for £3.5m
  • Peter Crouch’s most likely destination is now Tottenham, as his move to Sunderland has looked to have fallen through.
  • AC Milan are set to bid £15m for injury hit Yakubu from Everton.
  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is stalling on the deal to stuttgart in order to speak with Arsene Wenger this week, as he has been given a heads up on the club from his pal Robin van Persie who just signed a new deal.