Netherlands can’t afford to take Costa Rica lightly. They will be without Nigel de Jong, who will miss the remainder of the World Cup due to a groin injury. Bruno Martins Indi is expected to be back in the Netherlands starting XI. Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum are expected to play in the middle of the park. The Dutch are expected to play 3-5-2 with Robben and Robin Van Persie up top. Dirk Kuyt and Daryl Janmaat are likely to play at wing back positions. Van Gaal admits the team will rely on the experienced players in the squad and that gives them the advantage over Costa Rica.
“We have four or five older players and the influence of these is quite substantial,” Van Gaal said. “We have a young group and Robin (van Persie) is the captain, the man responsible for the younger ones.
“He does that with (Arjen) Robben, (Dirk) Kuyt and (Wesley) Sneijder. That’s good and pleasant for a coach to have players who will do everything it takes and look after the young players, in the spirit of the coach. I’m pleased with that.
“Like the Costa Rica players, the rest don’t have experience of this level of football, but our senior guys mean we have a slight advantage.”
As for Costa Rica, they are up against a tactically strong team and will be hoping to create more goal scoring chances than they did against Greece. Defender Oscar Duarte was sent off against Greece so he will miss the game. Johnny Acosta is expected to replace him in the starting XI. The rest of the team should remain same. Costa Rica will be hoping Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell cause enough problems for the Dutch defense. Keylor Navas has been in brilliant form and we can expect him to continue.
- Netherlands have won 10 of their last 11 World Cup matches, with the only blip in this run being their 2010 final defeat against Spain. They are 1.53 to win within 90 minutes.
- Costa Rica are unbeaten in four World Cup games for the very first time (W2 D2). They are 5.2 to qualify.
- The Netherlands have now turned their last four World Cup games in which they fell behind in regular time (90 mins, not inc. ET) into a victories. Holland are 10.0 to win from behind.
- Seven different players have scored for the Netherlands at this World Cup. Over 2.5 goals is 2.16.
- The Netherlands have never lost to a CONCACAF team at the World Cup (W1 D1, both against Mexico). They are 1.23 to qualify.
- Costa Rica have beaten just one European side in their last seven encounters with teams from that continent. Holland are 1.13 in the Double Chance market.
- Los Ticos have scored in all but one of their nine World Cup matches against teams from Europe, failing to score against England earlier in the tournament. Costa Rica are 1.9 to find the net.
- Wesley Sneijder has scored five goals in his last five World Cup knockout matches for the Netherlands. He is 3.2 to score.
- Bryan Ruiz scored with Costa Rica’s only shot on target in the match against Greece. Ruiz is 5.6 to score.
- Keylor Navas has saved 87.5% of the shots he’s faced at the World Cup so far, making 14 saves. Under 2.5 goals is 1.84.
Netherlands to win 2-1.