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World Cup 1/4 Final Betting Preview: Netherlands v Costa Rica
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Saturday 5th July 2014 13:00 LOC / 17:00 BST / 6th July 06.00 AEST Estadio Nacional Brasilia, Brazil 


Netherlands Screenshot 2014-06-04 09.13.59

• Nigel de Jong ruled out for the tournament after tearing a groin muscle.
• Louis van Gaal must decide whether to stick with the 5-3-2 or switch to the 4-3-3.
• Relied on a late penalty to win against Mexico, with Robben coming under fire for alleged diving.


De Jong – CM – Injured


Fer – CM/AM – 10%



Team News

he Netherlands suffered a blow to their midfield with the news that Nigel de Jong has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after tearing a groin muscle against Mexico. He had to come off after just 9 minutes in the game that the Netherlands left it very late to turnaround and win.

Louis van Gaal must make a big decision on whether to stick with the 5-3-2 that he has started all the matches so far with or switch to the 4-3-3 which has been more effective when the Netherlands have needed to force the game. Costa Rica are likely to be reasonably defensive and play on the counter, van Gaal is unlikely to want to leave his side too open, especially with a lack of pace at the back.

Danny Blind should push into de Jong’s defensive midfield slot, with Bruno Martins Indi starting in the back 3 after recovering from concussion. Paul Verhaegh may keep his place on the right, he is considered to be better on the ball than Janmaat and the Netherlands are likely to see more possession than their opponents.

Wijnaldum and Kuyt should both keep their places, although Jonathan de Guzman will be pushing for a recall, while Leroy Fer is still a major doubt as he picked up an injury after the Chile game.

Despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s heroics after coming off the bench against Mexico he will again be a sub as will Memphis Depay. 

Expected Team (5-3-2)

Screenshot 2014-07-04 11.21.33


Bench (from): Krul GK, Vorm GK, Janmaat RB, Kongolo CB, Veltman CB, Clasie CM/DM, de Guzman CM/RW, Fer CM/AM, Depay LW, Huntelaar ST, Lens ST/LW

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   The Dutch have a lack of pace along the backline, something Costa Rica will try to exploit by playing on the counter attack. The Netherlands are expected to stay deep and try to draw Costa Rica out, stopping them from getting in behind.
  •   Kuyt and Verhaegh are likely to see a lot of the ball as the Netherlands will be expected to force the issue for long periods of the game. While Kuyt is accustomed to pushing forward and being in possession the inclusion of Verhaegh over Janmaat is because he is better with the ball and able to use it more potently when the Netherlands attack.
  •   Louis van Gaal has not been afraid to switch to the more attacking 4-3-3 formation, usually bringing Depay on to run at the opposition defence as they tire. This has worked against Australia and Mexico and the Netherlands have the strength on the bench to make positive changes.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 The Netherlands will take heart from the late show that saw them advance against Mexico but Arjen Robben’s admission of going to ground too easily could come back to haunt him. If he goes down in the area he may not get favourable decisions from the referee as they will be looking for any sign of diving.


Costa Rica Screenshot 2014-05-30 12.32.33

• Key centre back Duarte out through suspension with Miller also absent through injury.
• Acosta is expected to start at centre back with rest of the team unchanged.
• Having to play extra time with ten men v Greece may have had a physical impact on the side.


Duarte – CB – Suspension None Miller – CB – Injury



Team News

Costa Rica will be without Oscar Duarte who has played every game in the tournament thus far on the right side of the centre back trio. He represents a big loss in what has been a highly organised Costa Rica defence. Pinto is expected to want to retain the current system that has proved so successful in the previous games and so a straight swap is expected. Miller, who featured against England in their final group game, was injured in training on Tuesday and will be absent therefore Acosta, who came on in the win over Greece, is expected to step in.

In the unlikely event that Pinto doesn’t retain the same system there is a chance that one of Cubero, Brenes or Urena could come into the side. All have been regulars off the bench and would be the biggest candidates to start in either a 4-5-1 or a 4-4-2.

Key offensive players Ruiz and Campbell will start despite suggestions of fatigue. Diaz was struggling towards the end of the match with Greece but is expected to start as is fellow wing back Gamboa who was subbed in that game.



Expected Team (5-4-1)

Screenshot 2014-07-04 11.26.18

Bench (from): Cambronero GK, Pemberton GK, Myrie RB/LB, Francis LB, Barrantes DM, Cubero DM, Granados DM, Calvo LW, Brenes ST, Urena ST

Tactical Keys to the Game:

  •   Costa Rica’s game plan didn’t alter against Greece with their usual offensive start and counter attacking finish. That was partly down to the red card for Duarte in the second half but largely reflects their approach anyway. They start each half well with 3 of their 5 goals in the tournament coming in the first 15 minutes after half time.
  •   If Netherlands operate with a back 5 then there is a chance that the teams will cancel each other out. Costa Rica operate with a more orthodox midfield 4 but bring Ruiz in off the line to support Campbell offensively. Playing with this approach could prove beneficial down the left side where Diaz and Bolanos can create overloads against the Netherlands right wing back. Costa Rica’s last two goals, both scored by Ruiz, have come from that side assisted by Diaz and Bolanos respectively therefore they will certainly pose a threat down there.
  •   The loss of Duarte is a big one for the side and undoubtedly weakens their very strong defensive unit. Whilst it doesn’t do justice to fairly assess a team that is playing with ten men Costa Rica did not look comfortable defending as a back 4 towards the end of the match with Greece so any potential change of system might not be effective.

    Motivational Keys to the Game:

 There hasn’t been much pressure on Costa Rica throughout the tournament but in the last match against Greece there was a slight sense of expectation given how poor Greece had been during their group games and how fortuitous they were to progress. Netherlands will undoubtedly be favourite to win this game which will benefit Costa Rica as they thrive on the underdogs tag and never would not have been expected to have advanced this far into the competition.



Football Form Labs Preview: Netherlands (1) v Costa Rica (10)

The Netherlands left it late against Mexico but two late goals turned around a match they looked like losing in sweltering conditions. Costa Rica, meanwhile, continued their incredible run with a penalties victory over Greece.

The Netherlands have a dream quarter-final with no CONCACAF nation ever having gone past this stage at the World Cup. Furthermore, the Netherlands record against CONCACAF nations since 1990 is W9-D1-L0. They’ve also won 13 of their last 14 competitive matches whilst scoring at least twice every time.

Costa Rica did an excellent job against Greece as they resisted despite going down to 10 men and then produced a superb set of penalties. Their last three matches, all against European sides, have featured just three goals and 18 of their last 23 competitive games have had fewer than three strikes. Since 2004 Costa Rica have won just one of their eight knockout games, but half have finished level and six have had fewer than three goals.

Since 1990 13 of the 24 World Cup quarter-finals have had fewer than three goals but 10 have had no more than one strike. In the same time 14 of 20 European Championship quarter-finals have had fewer than three goals. There have been 20 World Cup quarters or semis since 1990 where one team had played extra-time in the previous game and those sides have a W3-D8-L9 record with 14/20 having fewer than three goals and 12 being goalless at half-time. Furthermore, while only three suffered Loss/Loss defeats there were six Draw/Losses suggesting fatigue was an issue.

The Netherlands have recorded Draw/Win doubles in all their matches during this tournament and they’ve won 12 of their last 16 competitive matches when level at the break. We expect Costa Rica to sit back and make life difficult for the Dutch but they may pay for their extended efforts against Greece and tire as the match goes on.




Half Time / Full Time: Draw/Netherlands at $4.20 with Screenshot 2014-06-06 12.59.13

Under 2.5 Goals at $1.80 with Screenshot 2014-05-27 08.55.43





Screenshot 2014-06-13 12.52.23

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