Brasil, 13 July-2014(Indilens Web Team): Brazil will be out to restore some pride in their third place play-off against the Netherlands on Saturday, following their humiliating 1-7 loss to Germany in their semifinal game.
FIFA World Cup 2014 Match Preview third place play-off: Brazil v/s Netherlands
Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side had hoped to win the World Cup on home soil, but were brutally beaten by Joachim Loew’s men in the semifinal at the Estadio Mineirao and will now look to at least end the tournament on something of a high with victory over the Dutch in Brasilia.
Thiago Silva returns from suspension to shore up a defence which leaked five goals in the opening half an hour against Germany, but Neymar is out after fracturing his vertebra in the quarterfinal win over Colombia. Silva has called for Brazil fans to stay behind their team and says the Selecao will play Saturday’s game as if it were the World Cup final.
Scolari may decide to take Fred from the firing line after the striker was booed by home fans on Tuesday, while Willian is set to start in the absence of Neymar after Bernard disappointed against Germany. Dani Alves and Maxwell could also come in for Maicon and Marcelo at the back, with Hernanes set to start in midfield.
While Brazil play for pride, Netherlands will want to preserve their unbeaten record in this competition, having lost out only on penalties to Argentina on Wednesday. Before that, the Dutch had thrashed Spain 5-1 in their opening game, then went on to beat Australia, Chile and Mexico, and edged out Costa Rica in a penalty shootout in the last 16.
Van Gaal could hand a start to Swansea’s Michel Vorm in goal, having used each of the other 22 players in his squad so far in this competition. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss said he would have thrown on Tim Krul for the penalty shootout against Argentina, just as he did against Costa Rica, had he not used all of his substitutes and may consider that tactic on Saturday if his side and Brazil are still level at the end of extra time.
This will be the 12th clash between Brazil and the Netherlands (Won-3, Drawn-5, Lost-3) and the fifth in World Cup finals.
In World Cups, the Dutchmen have won twice, most recently in the 2010 quarter finals (2-1). Brazil managed to win once (1994), plus a penalty shoot-out 1998 (4-2).
For the second time after 1974 and 1978, the Netherlands will finish in the top four in two consecutive World Cups.
The Dutchmen had scored 12 goals in their opening four games but failed to find the net in both the quarterfinal and the semi-final, despite both matches going to extra-time.
The Netherlands have lost five of seven penalty shootouts in World Cups and European Championships.
Oranje will appear in their second third place game (1998 1-2 loss v Croatia).
Brazil have conceded the most goals in the current World Cup campaign (11). The last time they conceded 11 was in 1938 and they’ve never conceded more than 11.
10 of the Netherlands’ 12 goals in this tournament have come after half-time, the last four have come after the 75th minute.
In the semi-final, the Dutchmen attempted just seven shots in 120 minutes, in all of their previous World Cup matches since 1966, they had managed at least 10 shots.
While Netherlands had just one shot on target in the semi-final, Brazil had eight in the 7-1 loss versus Germany.
This will be Brazil’s fourth appearance in the third place game, but their first since 1978.
Brazil have won two and lost one of their three previous appearances in the third place match.
Against Germany, Brazil conceded just 11 fouls while conceding 31 against Colombia in the quarter-final.
Only Karim Benzema (15) has had more shots on target than Robin van Persie (10) in this World Cup; but the Dutchman is yet to score in the knockout stages.
The injured Neymar (13) is the only player who created more goalscoring chances for Brazil than Marcelo (10)