Predicted Netherlands XI to play Spain - Manchester United star and targets to feature

Match to be played on Friday 13th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.

The Netherlands have as difficult an opening match in the World Cup this evening as they could have hoped for.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is expected to set the Netherlands up with a very defensive outlook, before attempting to steal a result on the counter attack.

The Dutch go into this game off the back of a 2-0 win against Wales and it will be interesting to see whether they can withstand extended spells of Spanish pressure.

Here’s the side LvG could go with.

GK – Jasper Cillessen

The Ajax number one deserves to start this game. He was in great form domestically last season.

RB – Daryl Janmaat

Janmaat has been linked with a host of Premier League clubs including Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. They’ll have a chance to see what they could potentially invest in this evening.

CB – Stefan de Vrij

This will be a real test for the 22-year-old central defender. He’ll be physically tested against the bullish nature of Chelsea target Diego Costa.

CB – Ron Vlaar

The experience of the Aston Villa captain will help. Villa always looked a better unit with him in the team, as do the Dutch.

LB – Bruno Martins

One of the many Dutch players linked with a Manchester United move under LvG. He’ll have space down the right to express himself if the Spanish midfield goes narrow.

DM – Nigel de Jong

De Jong has to be right on the top of his game, protecting the defence and roaming the space just in front of the back four.

CM – Leroy Fer

Fer could play just on the right hand side of a diamond formation. He’s a very gutsy and quick player, who will snap around at Spain’s key men throughout the game.

CM – Daley Blind

The Ajax man should start on the other side of central midfield. He’s extremely fit, which should ensure he can press Spain when they have long spells of possession.

AM – Wesley Sneijder

Sneijder is a very experience and top quality player to have in behind the strikers. He can create good goalscoring chances in the blink of an eye.

ST – Arjen Robben

The Bayern Munich star and Manchester United target may start up front, but expect to see him dropping off to the right hand side when the team is under pressure.

ST – Robin Van Persie

Van Persie will be the man who sticks right at the top of the attack. It’s important the skipper stays switched on as he may only get one or two good chances to score throughout the game.

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