12th Jul 2014 | World Cup
Brazil v Netherlands Tip: Who Wants The Bronze?
The third-place play-off is the most anti-climactic game in the World Cup. However, this fixture does at least have a shred more interest as we await to see how Brazil reacts to humiliation.
There is a morbid fascination to Saturday’s consolation contest as the world wonders how Brazil will react to its night of shame. Four days after Germany put seven goals past the hosts, can they revive the spirits of a bereft nation?
The answer is no, because even a victory over the Netherlands would offer up only a crumb of comfort and a sense of too little too late. The biggest problem Scolari has is that defensively they were such a shambles in the semi-final that no amount of squad rotation can restore confidence and competence. Yes, captain Thiago Silva will be welcomed back with pleading open arms, but one man can only do so much.
Departing Dutch boss Louis van Gaal has branded the match an irrelevance, and hates the fact that a side which has had a decent tournament can go home off the back of consecutive defeats. The Netherlands, who started at a canter with a 5-1 victory over Spain a few weeks ago, have looked increasingly mediocre as time has gone on.
Brazil aren’t good enough to keep a clean sheet days after a debacle, but equally, even without Neymar, they do carry a goal threat having had the most shots (76) in the competition.
For both coaches it’s a chance to give their reserves some recognition while also trying to avoid defeat. The most likely outcome is therefore a score draw at best odds of 18/5 with Ladbrokes.
Odds correct at time of publishing: 08:17 12th Jul, 2014 but subject to change