FIFA World Cup 2010 Netherlands vs Slovakia, Round of 16 Preview and Prediction: Netherlands cruised through the group stage, winning every game and conceding just once. Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder have both already scored, and Arjen Robben and his comedy hamstrings made their rather exciting return to action in the final group game against Cameroon. Not to put too much pressure on the Dutch, but they really should be winning this game.
Slovakia seem happy just to be in the last 16. Despite the attacking talents of Marek Hamsik and Miroslav Stoch, Slovakia started World Cup 2010 with a draw against unfancied New Zealand and then a defeat to Paraguay, but then came to life in the final game to beat Italy 3-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Arguably, the pressure is all on the Netherlands to beat Slovakia and advance to the quarter-finals. Slovakia striker Robert Vittek – who already has three goals – sums up the situation thus: “They have to deliver, we simply might. For us it will be a completely new, fantastic experience. We’re not thinking about the result.”
That quote could be the precursor to a relaxed and inspired display by a Slovakian team just out to enjoy one more game. Or it could herald a Netherlands goalfest against a team that doesn’t really believe it should still be in the tournament. Either way, Netherlands has much more to lose than Slovakia.
Netherlands probable lines-up:
Maarten Stekelenburg, Gregory van der Wiel, Johnny Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Giovanni v. Bronckhorst, Nigel de Jong, Mark van Bommel, Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie
Vorm, Boschker, Van Der Wiel, Ooijer, Braafheid, De Zeeuw, Schaars, Afellay, Robben, Elia, Babel, Huntelaar
Coach; Bert Van Marwijk
Slovakia probable lines-up:
Jan Mucha, Peter Pekarik, Martin Skrtel, Jan Durica, Radoslav Zabavnik, Juraj Kucka, Zdeno Strba, Marek Hamsik, Robert Vittek, Miroslav Stoch, Erik Jendrisek
Pernis, Kuciak, Cech, Salata, Petras, Weiss, Kozak, Sapara, Kopunek, Sestak, Holosko, Jakubko
Coach; Vladimir Weiss
Head To Head;
Both never meet before
Netherlands is huge favorite to progress to quarter-final than Slovakia here, Slovakia was a lucky team of Group F, getting one point from controversial goals in opening match, lost to Paraguay was not a good signal to the team to progress far step, couldn’t see the team like Slovakia play in quarter-final with average team, however Netherlands shouldn’t overestimated here, this team could down suddenly without motivation and loss to awful team.
Still believe Netherlands to step to quarter-final, after great come back of injury Arjen Robben, will add the attacking variation of the Dutch squad.
Netherlands vs Slovakia 3-0