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Group B: Australia vs Holland

Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Kick-off: 5pm (1pm, Brazil time)

TV coverage: ITV1, from 4pm

Odds: Australia 12/1, Draw 5/1, Holland 2/9

Referee: Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)

Managers: Ange Postecoglou (Australia)
        Louis van Gaal (Holland)

Not many people could have predicted Holland would beat Spain, let alone dish out a 5-1 thrashing to the world champions. But Louis van Gaal’s team are keeping their feet on the ground.

Captain Robin van Persie, who, with Arjen Robben, became the first Dutch player to score in three different World Cups, said: ‘We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves — we have a long way to go to win this. This is my fifth (major) tournament and I know how these things work: the euphoria vanishes just as quickly as it appears.’

But the Dutch have every reason to be euphoric. Their new system with three at the back works and allows Robben to play as a striker. With no defensive responsibilities, he can now focus purely on attacking.

Australia fought hard against Chile and were undone by their fluid movement. But they did cause plenty of problems with crosses from deep and set pieces. Expect more of the same on Wednesday.

One to watch: Arjen Robben

Robin van Persie might have scored a beauty against Spain but it was Arjen Robben’s pace that tore the champions apart. Playing in a forward role, his direct running will terrorise Australia.

Key clash: Matthew Spiranovic vs Robin van Persie

Australia struggled with the pace and strength of Chile’s frontline in their opening game and that could well continue against Louis van Gaal’s side. Van Persie was unplayable at times against the reigning champions Spain and Spiranovic will have to stay disciplined to have any chance of winning his battle with the Manchester United forward.

Familiar face: Tim Cahill

The former Millwall and Everton man has given us a reminder of his power with a header against Chile. He is Australia’s main outlet and they constantly look to whip balls in to him.

History lesson
There is a glimmer of hope for Australia — they have not lost to Holland in their last three meetings, winning one and drawing two.

Did you know?
Holland are unbeaten in their last 11 group matches. The last time they lost at this stage of the World Cup was in 1994 to Belgium.

Best bet
Over 3.5 goals to be scored in the match — 13/10

Head-to-head record:
Played 3, Australia Wins 1, Draws 2

Opta stats:

  • This is the first World Cup encounter between Australia and Holland.
  • Australia are unbeaten in their three previous meetings against Holland (W1 D2). Their last encounter was on October 10, 2009 in a Sydney friendly (0-0).
  • Australia have won one of their six World Cup encounters with European sides (2-1 v Serbia in 2010), drawing one and losing four. They have never kept a clean sheet in any of these games.
  • Robin van Persie has scored 10 goals in his last nine appearances for Holland.
  • Arjen Robben has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances for Holland
  • Following their goals against Spain, both Robben and Van Persie became the first Holland players to score in three different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2010, 2014).
  • Tim Cahill has scored in three World Cups for Australia; no other Australian has done so in more than one tournament.
  • Cahill (four goals, one assist) has now been involved in 56 per cent of Australia’s goals (9) in World Cup history.
  • Australia have won just two of their previous 11 World Cup matches (L6 D3).
  • Holland are unbeaten in their last 11 World Cup group stage matches, winning eight and drawing three. Their last group stage defeat came back in 1994 versus Belgium.

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