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Holland hammer Hungary but Robben rues hamstring injury

| 05.06.2010


Holland continued their brilliant pre-tournament form with a classy 6-1 win over Hungary today, but a late injury to Arjen Robben has left a cloud over the camp.

Bayern winger Robben came on as a second-half substitute and scored two fine goals before attempting a back-heel pass and tweaking his ever-sensitive hamstring.

He hobbled off in the 86th minute and coach Bert Van Marwijk admitted he is concerned: “He felt a sharp pain. That does not bode well. But I do not lose hope.”

Only after Robben undergoes a scan scheduled for tomorrow will Van Marwijk consider calling up a replacement.

The Oranje’s will hope their star player doesn’t suffer the same fate as other World Cup prospects in being ruled out of the tournament.

Robben is currently the side’s second favourite top scorer for the tournament, at 4/1, and has been tipped as a potential outside candidate for overall Golden Shoe, at an appetising 66/1.

He had demonstrated his credentials for such accolades with two goals in a matter of minutes against Hungary. His first strike was a clever angled finish from a Giovanni Van Bronckhorst pass, while his second was a delightful curling shot following a Wesley Sneijder corner.

Robin Van Persie, Sneijder, Mark Van Bommel and Eljero Elia all hit the net as well to continue a brilliant run of form for Holland ahead of the competitive action in South Africa.

The Dutch have now scored 14 goals in four winning warm-up games and haven’t lost in 19 outings. So it’s little surprise they have moved in from 11/1 to 10/1 to lift the World Cup for the first time.

If you fancy Holland to reach at least the semi-finals then a bet on them to score 12+ goals at 5/1 looks wise.

With a guaranteed seven matches should they get that far (with third/fourth place play-off factored in) it would require an average of just under two-goals per game, well within Van Marwijk’s side’s grasp – they scored 10 in four games at Euro 2008.

How would Holland fare without Robben and who would take his starting place? They are 2/1 to go out in the quarters and Eljero Elia is 20/1 to finish to country’s top scorer.

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Author

John Klee