Netherlands World Cup Team Preview
Odds to Win World Cup: +1100
It feels like the Dutch are floating around in the mix deep into European and global tournaments, and this year should be no exception in South Africa.
How They Got Here: Qualifying may not have been any easier for any other team in Europe than it was for Holland. The Oranje took eight wins in their first eight qualifying matches in a group which really didn't field any challenges. There were only two goals conceded in this entire trek to the South Africa, and a defensive effort like that will almost certainly make the Dutch legitimate contenders to win their first World Cup.
Player to Watch: F Arjen Robben just wrapped up a fantastic season with Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga which saw the team win both the league title, the national cup, and make an appearance in the Champions League final against Inter Milan. He scored 16 goals in just 24 CAPS with the German behemoths this season. For his nation, Robben has scored 11 goals in 45 appearances, including a pair of goals in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Previous World Cup Experience: The Dutch will be making their tenth appearance in the World Cup this year in South Africa. After surprisingly missing the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, Holland bounced back by reaching the Round of 16 out of the Group of Death in Germany. A knockout round defeat against France was bitter, though. The Oranje made it to two World Cup Finals in team history, going in both 1974 and 1978. However, defeats in both matches still leaves the Netherlands without a World Cup. The best finish that the team has had since then was a fourth place finish in France in 1998.
Key to Advancing: The Dutch are always a team that has historically been known as a high flying squad, but the trick to getting through Group E is going to be that defense which only conceded two goals in eight matches in qualifying. Without GK Edwin Van Der Sar in the lineup, the pressure is going to be on GK Maarten Stekelenburg, who has made 25 CAPS for his country.
Predictions: If Holland doesn't reach at least the semifinals, expect to see manager Bert Van Marwijk get sacked. The Dutch fired their previous skipper thanks to a poor effort in Euro 2008. Anything less than nine points will be considered a disappointment in the group stage of this tournament, as there really aren't any teams that they won't be at least one goal favorites against in all likelihood. The draw is favorable in the future as well, at least in the Round of 16. There is most likely a date with either Paraguay, Slovakia, or New Zealand, though if by chance Italy slips in Group F, the task all of a sudden becomes a heck of a lot more difficult. At that point, the Oranje are going to have to deal with a team somewhere along the lines of Spain or Brazil, which could set up a very disappointing and premature end to the 2010 campaign in South Africa.
Round 1 Schedule
Netherlands vs. Denmark (June 19th, 7:30 AM ET, Johannesburg)
Netherlands vs. Japan (June 19th, 2:30 PM ET, Durban)
Cameroon vs. Netherlands (June 24th, 2:30 PM ET, Cape Town)
All Odds for 2010 World Cup from Brobury Sports
|Odds to Win Group E|
Odds to Advance Group E
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