Brazil v Netherlands - Match Preview: Van Gaal looking to bounce back

We look ahead to tonight’s World Cup third-place playoff match between Brazil and the Netherlands...

To be played on Saturday 12th July 2014 at 21:00. Venue: Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha, Brasilia.

Odds: Brazil 23/20, Draw 14/5, Netherlands 11/5

Preview & injury news

Brazil and the Netherlands will play each other in the match that no team wants to play - the third-place playoff. Luiz Felipe Scolari will be going into the game in Brasilia knowing that it is likely it will be his last match managing Brazil, after the manager was unable to guide the hosts to a sixth World Cup title on home soil. Their emphatic and embarrassing 7-1 defeat to Germany will live long in the memory of all Brazilians as one of the lowest moments in their footballing history.

Without talismanic figures of Thiago Silva and Neymar for that semi-final, they looked lost of ideas and leadership. Silva will return from suspension for this match and will hope that he can lead his country to a consolation third place in the competition.

The Netherlands have had a different World Cup to that of Brazil. The Dutch headed into the tournament knowing they weren't favourites for the title, but they surprised everyone by beating Spain 5-1 in the first match. Their good form meant that their tournament continued all the way to the semi-final, where they were knocked out by Argentina via a penalty shoot-out.

Even though they will be hugely disappointed in not reaching a second consecutive World Cup final, they will look back at this tournament and feel that it was a success. Louis van Gaal will be keen to end his reign as Holland manager with a victory, as he starts his job at Manchester United immediately after the tournament ends.

Five players to watch

David Luiz - Luiz was sold by Chelsea to Paris Saint Germain for a hefty £50 million earlier this summer. Despite that, his performance against Germany was nowhere near that valuation. It will be interesting to see if he can get over that on Saturday. 

Arjen Robben - The Bayern Munich winger struggled to make an impact against an Argentina defence that didn't allow him any space to run into with his dribbling ability. However, it was a match that was won by defenders as he wasn't the only attacker to struggle in that semi-final. No doubt playing against a Brazil defence that just conceded seven goals, Robben will be confident he can make a greater impact this time.

Thiago Silva - The Brazil captain was suspended for their semi-final defeat to Germany, and was dearly missed in the heart of their defence. His leadership ability will need to be back if Brazil are to restore some pride from this World Cup, and he will have a tough task in achieving that with a team shattered after their semi-final loss.

Ron Vlaar - The Aston Villa defender was man of the match against Argentina as he ensured that Messi had one of his quietest matches in the tournament to date. Despite his heroic defending, he missed a penalty that proved costly for his country in the shootout; he will be hoping his task remains to defending, something he has done brilliantly so far in this tournament.

Fred - Brazil's lack of number nine has been well documented of late, and Fred's liabilities have been highlighted frequently. He was nowhere to be seen against Germany, and the fans booed him every time he touched the ball in the latter stages. If he does start, then he will need to prove the doubters wrong in this one.

Last time they met

Brazil 0-0 Netherlands, Goiania, Brazil. 4th June 2011.

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