Hosts Brazil take on Netherlands in the third place match. Brazil suffered a 7-1 thrashing against Germany and Netherlands lost to Argentina on penalties.
Neymar is out of the World Cup with a fractured vertebrae following a knee to the back. Skipper Thiago Silva returns from suspension and is expected to start the game. Maicon will start at right back once again. Jo, Ramires and Willian might get a chance ahead of Hulk, Fred and Bernard. There might be a few surprises in the starting XI for both the teams. According to Brazilian media, Scolari is expected to step aside after the World Cup whether they beat Netherlands or not.
“We have a deal … until the game on Saturday and after that, probably, we will have a conversation to sort some things out,” Scolari said.
“I will continue with my life, the players will also continue to be winners and we must continue,” he added.
“History will have to record that Brazil, for the first time since 2002, reached the semi-finals.”
As for Netherlands, Tim Krul might get a start ahead of Jasper Cillesen. Nigel De Jong is expected to be fully fit for the game. Sneijder and Wijnaldum are also expected to start in the middle of the park. Dirk Kuyt and Daryl Janmaat are likely to play at wing back positions. Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie are expected to start up front. Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal believes third place matches are pointless and should be scrapped.
“We have had a fantastic tournament. Nobody expected us to get beyond the group stage,” said coach Louis van Gaal, who must motivate himself for his final match at the helm before he takes over at Manchester United.
“We have a day’s less rest, which is not very fair. The third-place play-off is pointless. I was saying that 15 years ago, because you can have a fantastic tournament and then finish with two defeats,” he added.
Probable starting XI:
Brazil: Cesar; Maicon, Luiz, Silva, Marcelo; Gustavo, Fernandinho, Ramires; Willian, Oscar,Jo.
Netherlands: Krul; Kuyt, De Vrij, Vlaar, Martins Indi, Depay; Wijnaldum, Sneijder, Blind; Robben, Van Persie.
- This will be the 12th clash between Brazil and Holland (W3, D5, L3) and the fifth in World Cup finals.
In World Cups, the Dutchmen have won twice, most recently in the 2010 quarter finals (2-1). Brazil managed to win once (1994), plus a penalty shoot-out 1998 (4-2).
- For the second time after 1974 and 1978, Holland will finish in the top four in two consecutive World Cups.
- The Dutchmen had scored 12 goals in their opening four games but failed to find the net in both the quarter-final and the semi-final, despite both matches going to extra-time.
- Holland have lost five of seven penalty shoot-outs in World Cups and European Championships.
- Oranje will appear in their second third place game (1998 1-2 loss v Croatia).
- Brazil have conceded the most goals in the current World Cup campaign (11). The last time they conceded 11 was in 1938 and they’ve never conceded more than 11.
- 10 of Holland’s 12 goals in this tournament have come after half-time; the last four have come after the 75th minute.
- In the semi-final, the Dutchmen attempted just seven shots (incl blocked) in 120 minutes – in all of their previous World Cup matches since 1966, they had managed at least 10 shots.
On the head: Holland’s Arjen Robben controls the ball during training ahead of Saturday’s third-place play-off
- While Holland had just one shot on target in the semi-final, Brazil had eight in the 7-1 loss versus Germany.
- This will be Brazil’s fourth appearance in the third place game, but their first since 1978.
- Brazil have won two and lost one of their three previous appearances in the third place match.
- Against Germany, Brazil conceded just 11 fouls while conceding 31 against Colombia in the quarter-final.
- Only Karim Benzema (15) has had more shots on target than Robin van Persie (10) in this World Cup; but the Dutchman is yet to score in the knockout stages.
- The injured Neymar (13) is the only player who created more goalscoring chances for Brazil than Marcelo (10).
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