FIFA Ranking: 4

You can never write off Oranje of any major competition. They are one of the strongest contenders for this WC too . The team is famous for their Total Football and was nicknamed as Clockwork Orange for their precise passing . Their strong counter-attacking and free flowing football makes them one of the best in business .

The Dutch team went on to secure a 100 percent record in their World Cup 2010 qualification campaign , winning all eight games and becoming the first European team to qualify for the World cup .


Last World Cup Journey:

 
Netherlands were drawn in the same group with Argentina , Serbia and the Cote d'Ivoire and secured the second spot in the team . Though they had as many points as Argentina had , Argentina had a better goal difference . Oranje were eliminated in the round of sixteen after the " Battle Of Nuremberg " . The match was played between The Dutch and Portugal and it saw Sixteen Cautions And Four Red Cards .Four Red Cards in a single WC match was a record in iteslf. Netherlands lost the game 1-0 and were out of the WC .



The Manager:


Bert van Marwijik replaced Marco van Basten after Euro 2008 as a head coach of Netherlands football team. He has a good history as a manager if not splendid . He led Feyenoord to win the then UEFA Cup . His managerial team will include Frank de Boar , Phillip Cocu , Dick Voom . And the squad will be relying on Marwijik and his tactics if they are to win the cup .


Squad:

Goalkeepers :
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax), Sander Boschker (FC Twente), Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht)


Defenders:
Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart), Edson Braafheid (Celtic), Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord), John Heitinga (Everton), Joris Mathijsen (HSV), Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax), Andre Ooijer (PSV);


Midfielders :

Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich), Nigel de Jong (Manchester City), Stijn Schaars (AZ), Wesley Sneijder (Inter), Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid), Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax), Ibrahim Afellay (PSV);



Forwards:

Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool), Eljero Elia (HSV), Ryan Babel (Liverpool), Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan), Robin van Persie (Arsenal), Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich).


 


Squad Strengths
Netherlands strength is their Counter Attacking and free flowing football . Arjen Robben with his pace and ability to finish , the opposition must have someone of his caliber to put a stop to him . With Robin van Persie in the squad and fit , They will have another player who can shoot with comfort and find the net . In midfield Wesley Sneijder who will take the runs and the efforts to provide the ball And Rafael Ferdinand van der vaart if used properly can upset the opposition defence too .



 

Squad Weakness :
I am not saying Maarten Stekelenburg is not a good enough goalkeeper , but they will certainly miss Van der Sar due to his retirement from national football . Netherlands weakness will be its defence . With most of their men committed to attack , they should not forget to watch their backs .



Men to watch:




Arjen Robben , who plays as a winger will be undoubtedly the man to watch in the Netherlands squad . He has got the pace , the Stamina , He can run past defenders with ease , He can put the ball in the box and he can score . What more do you want from a player ?
With as qualified as him , opposition defenders are going to have a headache keeping an eye on him and stopping him . He'll be the man for Oranje .
The current Dutch side has expert finishers in Persie , Robben and they just need good passes to convert them .With his passing combined with the shooting which is almost always on the target , Wesley Sneijder is the man to watch . He is Netherlands ace in the hole.




FP Prediction

They have been drawn in with Denmark , Japan and Cameroon. Netherlands are favorites to get the top spot in the group. With their strong squad, they should be able to reach Semi Finals, being one of the strongest contenders to win it too.


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