2014 World Cup: Predicting The Netherlands’ Starting XI

2014 World Cup: Predicting The Netherlands' Starting XI

2014 World Cup Predicting the Netherlands Starting XI
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Coach Louis Van Gaal called in a lot of the veterans despite talk that he may leave some at home. However, there is a jump to a younger generation of Holland players on the bench waiting for their opportunity. Van Gaal got to see many of them play in a 1-1 friendly against Ecuador. Given the makeup of his team, Van Gaal may go with a 5-3-2 that combines veterans with young players.

GK: Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen
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GK: Jasper Cillessen

Jasper Cillessen
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The Ajax keeper received his first call up to the national squad in 2011, but has only played six times. He is wrapped in a battle with three other keepers who have been called into camp. MIchel Vorm is the most experienced of the group with 14 matches for the Netherlands. There is a chance that this position is unsettled when the matches start in Brazil, but Van Gaal should go on club form.

LWB: Daley Blind

Daley Blind
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LWB: Daley Blind

Daley Blind
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There is not a standard left-back in the camp, which leads to the team moving forward with the 5-3-2. Blind is the most experienced left-back, but will be needed to provide width and make smart runs. Terence Kongolo could take his spot and did get plenty of playing time against Ecuador. Regardless, this back line will only get younger.

CB: Stefan De Vrij

Stefan De Vrij
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CB: Stefan De Vrij

Stefan De Vrij
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De Vrij will be one of three center-backs on the field. The young Feyenoord player won 58 tackles for his club team. He also won 59 percent of the aerial duels he was in.

CB: Bruno Martins Indi

Bruno Martins Indi
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CB: Bruno Martins Indi

Bruno Martins Indi
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While Joel Veltman could replace Martins Indi, it looks like De Vrij's teammate will be another center-back. Like other Dutch defenders, he is a rumored target of Manchester United. Martins Indi can also play on the left and will be the most versatile player of the three center-backs. He will use his speed to carry the ball out of the back.

CB: Ron Vlaar

Ron Vlaar2
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CB: Ron Vlaar

Ron Vlaar
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The Aston Villa captain will be looked to for leadership. Despite an injury-riddled season, Vlaar was said to be the glue that held his club team together during a tumultuous season. Vlaar is the only veteran in the back.

RWB: Daryl Janmaat

Daryl Janmaat
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RWB: Daryl Janmaat

Daryl Janmaat2
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Much like Blind, Janmaat will have to be comfortable in attack and defense. He will be asked to push the pace and connect with the attack. Starting Janmaat in the back keeps teammates from Feyenoord together, and that could help with the chemistry for a young defense.

CDM: Nigel De Jong

Nigel De Jong
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CDM: Nigel De Jong

Nigel De Jong2
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De Jong will be part of the playmaking midfield that makes this system similar to Italian game plans. However, the AC Milan player will be the lone midfielder assigned to a defensive role in this formation. He must be disciplined and focused.

CM: Jordy Clasie

Jordy Clasie
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CM: Jordy Clasie

Jordy Clasie2
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At this point, Van Gaal has countless adaptations he could use moving forward. Clasie must win balls and be the main pivot for the Netherlands. Given the fallout that Van Gaal had with Sneijder, it looks like Clasie is the first choice here. However, there are three other options here as Jonathan De Guzman, Leroy Fer and Georginio Wijnaldum could be used. None of these players have reached double-digit appearances for the Oranje.

CAM: Rafael van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart
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CAM: Rafael van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart2
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Again, there are options here as Sneijder, Wijnaldum, or even Arjen Robben could fill this role in the 5-3-2. This may be the sentimental pick with van der Vaart having over 100 appearances for his national team. He has 25 goals in that time frame.

F: Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie
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F: Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie2
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This is a no-brainer as Van Persie has recovered from his injury and played in the friendly with Ecuador. It does not take much explanation to know he will be in the starting XI. He may play every minute in Brazil.

F: Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben2
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F: Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben2
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Robben will be on the pitch too. He finished off the DFB Pokal Cup for Bayern Munich and played as the lone striker for most of extra time. He would create a great partnership with Van Persie. However, Robben could slide back to the CAM position, giving Memphis Depay a shot at being the other forward.

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