Uruguay V Holland Preview: Betting Odds & Tips – Tuesday, 6th July
Uruguay V Holland
Tuesday, 6th July – 19:30 (GMT)
Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
As Uruguay prepare themselves for the opportunity of a lifetime – to appear in their third World Cup final (Boasting a 100% record in finals as well) – coach Oscar Tabarez contemplates a nerve racking Tuesday night without a number of influential figures. Luis Suarez is the biggest name to miss this last-four clash with Holland, after it was his handball which saved Uruguay from quarter-final exit only to receive a well deserved red card for his troubles. Jorge Fucile, one of the more impressive full-backs in South Africa 2010, will also miss out through suspension while fellow defenders Diego Godin and Diego Lugano are injury doubts.
At this rate Uruguay won’t have a defence to field, but Diego Lugano, the Uruguay skipper, has pledged his support and commitment to this semi-final cause by saying he will play through the pain barrier just to play his part on Tuesday. That’s just what Uruguay need at theis moment in time, some courageous souls, as they’ll need to produce something special if they’re to overhaul favourites Holland in Cape Town. In Diego Forlan, a player primed for games such as these, Uruguay have a born and breed match winner. His three goals in five games, including the equaliser against Ghana in the previous round, has aided Uruguay significantly in their best performance in a World Cup since 1970.
With all these injuries and suspensions, it’s difficult to envisage Uruguay having enough quality, as well as enough in energy reserve, to oust Holland from the final. In fairness, they haven’t been that great in these finals and have enjoyed a pleasant run up till now; topping a Group A which failed to live up to all the hype, then seeing off South Korea in the Round of 16 before later edging past Ghana in the quarter’s. Holland will be their toughest assignment of these finals and this encounter looks all the more like it could be their last. Their defence is depleted and understrength while the absence of Luis Suarez means they now lack a striker of genuine World Cup calibre. The latter has three goals to his name in South Africa and we don’t see either his former striking partner, Edinson Cavani, nor Sebastian Abreu having the same impact as the Ajax forward, while the onus is now well and truly on Diego Forlan to raise his game further and bolster his scoring tally of three goals with another which could potentially win this last-four encounter.
If Uruguay are to produce the shock of the round, they’ll need to defend resolutely and like heroes throughout. The Dutch will come at them from all corners, with the likelihood of shots raining down on Fernando Muslera’s goal. The Uruguayan shot-stopper had kept three successive clean sheets in the group stage but has since seen his goal breached on both occasions in the knock-outs. The Lazio keeper will need to somehow find the form which seen he keep out France, South Africa and Mexico if Uruguay are to progress into an historic final, as it’s unlikely the South Americans will score more than two goals in this contest and so will need to keep Holland’s scoring to a minimum.
The Dutch have appeared in two World Cup finals previously and have come out second best on both occasions. If they can grasp this fabulous semi-final opportunity with both hands than this new brand of Dutch footballers will have the chance to make amends for their forefathers shortcomings. It has been a little over 32 years since Holland supporters last entertained the fact they were participating a final of the World Cup, where they lost out to hosts Argentina. You could argue that they probably won’t have an opportunity as golden as this to qualify for their third FIFA World Cup final than on Tuesday night for quite some time when they take on South Americans Uruguay, a team ranked 16th in the world, for a place in Sunday’s grand final.
The Dutch haven’t been their usual free-scoring selves in South Africa, which ironically has proven a positive thing. Instead of focusing solely on their attacking qualities and personnel, which they could of so easily have done considering they have an embarrassment of riches in the final third of the field, coach Bert Van Marwijk has resolved some of the defensive issues which has plagued the national team down the years. Instead of going into games with an all-guns-blazing mindset, trying to outscore every single opponent, it’s been more of a collective performance from Holland. Their defence is far more rugged and resolute – able to withstand more pressure than initially anticipated – while their creative players and forward assets have been more methodical and patient with their attacks. It hasn’t been attractive at times, not the sexy football we’ve come to know and love from the Dutch, but it’s been damn effective and it’s one of the reason why Holland have quickly established a fair few admires, especially in the betting rings.
Holland will arrive in Cape Town following their courageous turnaround against Brazil, where a spirited second half display over roared their Brazilian counterparts and left the footballing world speechless because of their actions. The then tournament favourites, the team a vast majority deemed as the likely winners of South Africa 2010, now dead in the water because of this robust Dutch side. It is a scalp of the high proportion but it will count for absolutely nothing should they come up short against Uruguay on Tuesday in a game many now fancy their chances of winning.
The one and only real worry for coach Bert Van Marwijk is Nigel De Jong’s suspension, although full-back Gregory Van Der Wiel is another serving a one-game suspension after both players collected their second yellow card of the tournament in that 2-1 win over Brazil. Khalid Boulahrouz will be a like-for-like replacement for Van Der Wiel, so nothing to worry about there, but John Heitinga, a centre-half by trade, may well have to fill De Jong’s defensive-midfield boots. It means Andre Ooijer will have to start at centre-back for the second game running although the former Aston Villa man didn’t look out of place against Brazil despite probably being at fault for their opening goal. Robin Van Persie is nursing an arm injury but should lead the line once again aiming to double his tally for the tournament (1 Goal).
Our Prediction: Holland to WIN – 1.67 Boylesports
You cannot underestimate the amount of pressure Holland will be feeling, and they have been a team to falter under the limelight in recent tournaments, but there’s also no getting away from the fact that their opponents are a Uruguay team which have enjoyed an easy route to the semi-final and will be without a number of key personnel. The Dutch do have a few defenders missing but so long as they restrict a now less potent Uruguay, who are without Luis Suarez (3 Goals), they should progress without much of a fuss. If they grab an early goal to calm the nerves then we see Holland running out worthy and comfortable winners.
Recommended Bet: Holland to Score 3 or More Goals – 4.30 SkyBet
Current Uruguay v Holland Odds: