Holland v Slovakia Preview: Odds & Betting Tips – Monday, 28th June
Holland v Slovakia Betting Odds
Holland are looking in extremely good shape to make a run at the World Cup finals. They secured a 100% record in their group, with a 2-1 win over a Cameroon side, who actually turned up and played with some energy. While Cameroon made Holland’s back line work far harder than it has had to do at any other point of the tournament so far, it still took a penalty kick for the African Nation to break the Orange wall. What Holland do very effectively, is drop two banks of four players back when they lose the ball. This is an incredibly organised system, which suffocates and squeezes the space in which the opposition has to attack. Event though Holland are considered an attacking side, when they lose the ball, they make their opponents go through two lines of defence which are strung out across the pitch. This is Dutch way, and it has made their defence very mean, and even the most creative of teams will have their work cut out breaking through them. Coach Bert Van Marwijk has a system which is working for his players, and it is the same confident system which saw Holland get through their European qualification group with a 100% record. So why weren’t Holland shorter in World Cup odds at the start of the tournament? That can be explained away by two reasons. Firstly, they haven’t really pit themselves against much top opposition since Euro 2008, where they lost in the quarter finals heavily to Russia. They then had the easiest of World Cup qualification groups, and were favoured with an easy Group at South Africa 2010 itself. The other reason, is that they have simply never fulfilled their potential on the world stage. A spanner always gets throw in the Netherlands’ works.
But we have not seen the best of Holland yet. They have been efficient in their group matches, winning all three, but without really getting into top gear. Truthfully there hasn’t been a need to, and that means there should be more to come, and at some point Holland will need it. Tougher challenges lie ahead than what they have faced, and what they will face in the last sixteen against Slovakia. If Holland keep their feet on the ground and continue doing what they have been doing, then they will be a threat to all other nations this time around. Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Dirk Kuyt and Robin Van Persie are just some of the household names which make Holland more than the sum of its parts. Van Marwijk has a team, not just a bunch of the country’s best players. Four different players have found the back of the net in their five World Cup goals so far, and even in that department there should be a lot more to come. Holland will score goals because of the way they attack. It’s hard to pinpoint just what their attacking strength is, as they are able to inject pace and precision from all areas of the pitch. It really is hard for opposition to keep track of the movement of the Netherlands, and they will get in behind defences with their fantastic passing game. Are they perfect? No. When Cameroon played at pace, they really flustered the Dutch defence. However, Slovakia are unlikely to have enough on the day to really trouble Holland, but with the potential of a quarter final match against Brazil to come, they will need to just start sharpening their tools a little bit.
All hats off to the plucky Slovakians after defeating the defending World Champions Italy in their final group match. A win, a draw and a loss in their group fixtures were enough to squeeze Slovakia through in their tight group, and what a thrilling finale it was, as they beat Italy 3-2. While the Italians were not great, Slovakian made great, intelligent use of their possession when counter attacking at pace. They were helped with the Italians leaving gaping holes at the back as they were pushing forward trying to salvage a draw that would have seen them through. The Slovakians are a rugged lot, and that shows in their style of football, as there have been glimpses of very good play from them, equally there has been less than ideal quality such as giving the ball away cheaply and diving into tackles. They are not a bad side at all, but they look as if they need a few more years developing into a side that could really challenge their higher echelons of the FIFA rankings. The victory over the Italians will have done them a power of good, and while everyone will complain about how poor the Italians have been, and justifiably, nothing should be taken away from Slovakia.
They have gone out and scored four goal in three games, and have conceded five. They are not up there on the stats charts of having performed a great deal of passing, nor do they have a high completion rate, nor attempts at goal. They have only had eight shots on target, but have scored four goals. They were never expected to be up there challenging, and were not even expected to be in the second round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. But they are, and they have a game to go and play, and no doubt they will get stuck in, in their rugged way.
Holland v Slovakia Betting Tip: Holland to win by 2 goals 10/3 at SkyBet
Current Netherlands V Slovakia Odds: