Holland vs Brazil – Oranjes to be unlucky again
This quarter-final between Holland and Brazil promises to light up the tournament – and not just because of the brightly coloured orange and yellow shirts. It kicks off at 3pm on Friday with Brazil 5/6 favourite to win in normal time, with Holland a 7/2 shot.
Holland are on an eight game winning streak and haven’t lost in 23, but they are 7/4 to qualify while Brazil, who’ve won eight in nine and lost only once in 30 outings, are 2/5 to progress.
Despite waltzing through their group and brushing aside Chile, manager Dunga has come in for scathing criticism both from pundits back home and Johan Cruyff – because his Brazil don’t play the way the samba nation has done historically.
The Brazil boss won’t give such negatives a second thought, though, secure in the knowledge that the gloriously talented 82 team went home pot-less, while his 94 grafters lifted the trophy.
Dunga will also draw comfort from the fact it was his penalty which knocked Holland out the last time these sides met at the World Cup in the 1998 semi-finals. It is 10/1 for Brazil to win on penalties again.
It seems to have been overlooked that his opposition number, Bert Van Marwijk, has done a similar job with Holland. Gone is the Total Football of Cruyff’s generation, which got the Dutch close – in 74 and 78 – but ultimately failed, and instead there’s a functionality to the Oranje’s play.
At this World Cup they have encased their flair forwards in a pragmatic approach designed to win rather than entertain. Wesley Sneijder is the only player with more than one goal – he’s 10/1 to score first here.
Combined, the teams have scored 15 goals in eight games, so despite all the star names, net ripples could be limited. Indeed each team has only conceded two goals so far, meaning an average of 2.4 goals per game in their matches. Under 2.5 goals at full-time, an 8/11 price, could be wise.
The Dutch have at least remained true to their heritage in part. When being subbed against Slovakia Robin Van Persie reportedly told Van Marwijk it should have been Sneijder coming off – leading to frosty relations in the camp.
In Arjen Robben they have a man who can do it on his own, though, and backing him to seize the spotlight, with the first goal, looks good at 8/1.
Brazil will have Luis Fabiano (4/1 to score first), Kaka (8/1) and Robinho (6/1) all fit and, interestingly, Brazil have won every one of the 16 matches they’ve played when that tripod has started.
Each team has a strong defence, good holding midfielders and a talented attack, and a 1-1 draw looks a likely result after 90 minutes. With Brazil’s greater ability to crunch out results it strikes as probable that the team wearing yellow will win it in extra-time (7/1).
Can Holland avenge their 98 defeat and beat the favourites on penalties? It’s an 11/1 shot. See the full Holland v Brazil match betting market.