What: FIFA 2010 World Cup
Who: Holland vs Slovakia
When: Monday 28th June, 2010 at 15:00 UK Time
Where: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa

Do Dutch have the courage to go all the way?

The Dutch enter the knockout phase with a 100% record having won all their group matches, a record they share with Argentina at this World Cup. Holland haven’t really produced an eye-catching performance thus far though, but it is apparent they haven’t played to their full potential yet.

With an anticipated quarter-final against Brazil awaiting Bert van Marwijk’s men if they can see off Slovakia, do the Oranje have what it takes to win their first ever World Cup?

Slovaks Aim for Another Giant Killing

After labouring to a draw against New Zealand and experiencing defeat to Paraguay it looked as if Slovakia would be heading back to Bratislava after the group stage as they faced a do-or-die clash with world champions Italy. What followed was the most significant 90 minutes of football in Slovakia’s short history as an independent nation as they produced a brilliant display to send the Azzurri back home.

Can they produce a similar level of performance and knock out another European footballing giant?

Recent form

Holland 2-0 Denmark (14/06; World Cup – Group E)
Holland 1-0 Japan (19/06; World Cup – Group E)
Holland 2-1 Cameroon (24/06; World Cup – Group E)

Slovakia 1-1 New Zealand (15/06; World Cup – Group F)
Paraguay 2-0 Slovakia (20/06; World Cup – Group F)
Slovakia 3-2 Italy (24/06; World Cup – Group F)

Players to watch

Holland – Arjen Robben: The Bayern Munich winger is slowly but surely regaining fitness after he sustained a hamstring injury a week before the tournament. He made an immediate impact in the final group game against Cameroon when he came on as second half substitute and indirectly created Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s goal, after his beautiful curling effort hit the post and the AC Milan striker tapped home. If Robben can prove his fitness before kick-off it seems inconceivable that Bert van Marwijk won’t start the former Chelsea player.

Slovakia – Marek Hamsik: It was predicted the Napoli playmaker would be one of the stars of the World Cup after a superb season at the San Paolo as the Serie A outfit made a charge for a Champions League place. Hamsik has struggled with having the expectations of a nation resting on his shoulders, but if he can produce the type of performance supporters in Naples have become accustomed to then Slovakia may find their stay in South Africa extended by at least another week.

Match prediction

The Oranje should have the big match experience and the quality to see off Slovakia although Repre won’t go down without a fight. The Netherlands will win a tight match 2-1.

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