Netherlands v Costa Rica - Match Preview: Ex-Manchester City player missing

Sneijder, Robben and De Jong Netherlands

Nigel de Jong will miss the remainder of the World Cup after suffering a tear in his groin muscle in their 2-1 win over Mexico in the last 16.

To be played on Saturday 5th July 2014 at 21:00. Venue: Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador.

Odds: Netherlands 1/2, Draw 100/30, Costa Rica 6/1

Preview & injury news

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal could change his formation to a 4-3-3 after the news that Nigel de Jong will be ruled out for the remainder of the tournament. The Dutchman may decide to start Swansea City midfielder Jonathan de Guzman in the deep-lying midfield role that De Jong performed to a high standard in for the previous four matches.

Another option would be to pick Daley Blind in midfield, with the versatile defender more than capable of playing in a position he performed so well in during the 2-1 win over Mexico. Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is a certain starter for the Dutch despite being substituted after 70 minutes against Mexico for tactical reasons when the team were losing 1-0.

Van Persie's replacement Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the 94th-minute penalty that secured the 2-1 victory and ensured that the Dutch qualify for the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Costa Rica are going into this quarter-final tie with a full squad to pick from. Their only concern, however, is for goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The Levante goalkeeper, who has been in superb form so far in this tournament, missed training on Wednesday after suffering with a minor shoulder injury, but he is expected to start on Saturday.

Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto has led his team to a quarter-final appearance that has surprised many in this tournament, finishing top of a group that included three previous winners - England, Italy and Uruguay - before knocking out a Greece side on penalties after having just 10 players for over an hour.

Key stats

1) The Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 World Cup matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain.

2) Costa Rica goalkeeper Navas has saved 87.5% of the shots he has faced at the World Cup so far, making 14 saves.

3) Costa Rica have beaten just one European side in their last seven encounters (inside 90 minutes) with teams from that continent.

Five players to watch

Arjen Robben - The Bayern Munich winger admitted to diving during the first half in the last-16 match against Mexico, and the player was adjudged to be fouled by Rafael Marquez in the 94th minute to earn his side a penalty. All eyes will be on Robben to see if he is involved in more diving controversy in this match.

Joel Campbell - The Arsenal striker has been brilliant for Costa Rica so far. Playing up front on his own, his speed and movement have allowed his team to look dangerous on the counter-attack in matches so far. It is expected that they will play the same way against the Dutch, and Campbell will be integral if Costa Rica are to surprise the Oranje and qualify for the semi-finals. 

Dirk Kuyt - The former Liverpool player has shown his versatility so far in the tournament. His natural position is a striker or an attacking midfielder on the right wing, but so far he has played left wing-back for Van Gaal's side. It is not sure whether he will continue there, but if he does, then he is certainly going to work hard for the Oranje.

Keylor Navas - The goalkeeper who plays for Levante has been in outstanding form. Saving 87.5% of shots faced, he has continued his superb form for his club at the World Cup. The Netherlands know that they will need to do something special to beat this goalkeeper if he carries on his good form. 

Wesley Sneijder - Sneijder faced some criticism in the Dutch press after their 2-0 win over Chile - the attacking midfielder was accused of losing the ball too much. However, he scored the important equaliser in the 88th minute against Mexico and was vital in helping the Netherlands qualify for the quarter-finals. He will hope to continue to prove his doubters wrong in Salvador on Saturday.

Last time they met

This will be their first official match between the two nations.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch