Posts Tagged ‘netherlands’

Gerard Houllier back in the Premier League

Former Liverpool boss, Gerard Houllier has agreed to become Aston Villa’s new manager. Houllier stepped down from his position as technical director of the French Football Federation in order to take the position. Not a very difficult move, I would imagine. Keep going with a crumbling federation whose national team is a disgrace or join Aston Villa in the Premier fucking League? I’m sure it took Houllier all of 3 seconds to make up his mind.

Mario Balotelli to have knee surgery

It’s a good thing Mario Balotelli scored a goal in the only 33 minutes he has played for Manchester City. He will not see the pitch for at least another six weeks. During those 33 minutes where Balotelli scored a goal, he also managed to damage his lateral meniscus. Quite the debut the young striker had. I guess it’s a good thing the striker position is one Manchester City is not lacking in depth.

Kuyt out at least one month

Liverpool are dealt yet another blow with the news of Dirk Kuyt’s shoulder injury. Kuyt injured his shoulder while attempting a bicycle kick during training with the Netherlands. Liverpool will need the likes of Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to really step up and put this team on their shoulders. With last season’s horrible season still fresh in the minds of fans, Mascherano’s departure and now Kuyt’s injury, fans need to see victories or else fear walking alone forever.

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June 19, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Japan

This should be a walk in the park for the Dutch. Their electrifying pace will be far too much to handle for the Japanese. I could sit here and make Japan look silly and continue singing the praises of the Dutch but I’ll spare you some time and just end this preview here.

Final Score: 4-0

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool), Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid)
Japan- Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder Yokohoma), Keisuke Honda (midfielder, CSKA Moscow), Yasuhito Endo (midfielder, Gamba Osaka), Keiji Tamada (forward, Nagoya Grampus), Shinji Okazaki (forward, Shimizu S-Pulse)

Ghana vs Australia 10:00am

Ghana will be without their star player Michael Essien during this world cup. The versatile midfielder injured his knee during the African Cup of Nations and has never recovered since. This is a massive blow for Ghana as Essien is a vital addition to this squad. It’s tough to say that the loss of one player could decide whether or not a team advances to the next stage, however, in this case it is true. Without Essien, I cannot envision the Ghanaians to get out of their group. They will battle Serbia for the 2nd spot behind Germany, and I believe without Essien, the door is open for the strong Serbians to advance to the next round. Anyway, that won’t matter here as with or without Essien I think Ghana still beats Australia. Sorry, mates.

Final score: 2-0

Key players to watch:

Ghana- Stephen Appiah (midfielder, Bologna), Sulley Muntari (midfielder, Inter Milan), Asamoah Gyan (forward, Rennes), Kevin-Prince Boateng (midfielder, Portsmouth), John Paintsil (defender, Fulham)
Australia- Tim Cahill (midfielder, Everton), Mark Bresciano (midfielder, Palermo), Harry Kewell (forward, Galatassary), Brett Emerton (midfielder, Blackburn), Brett Holman (midfielder, AZ Alkamaar)

Cameroon vs Denmark 2:30pm

This should be the most competitive match of the day. One of these two teams will join the Netherlands into the next round. I believe it will probably be Cameroon; they are the more talented squad and have home-field advantage so to speak. Cameroon will definitely need their star striker Samuel Eto’o to step up and carry the load in the scoring department. Coming off a recent treble victory with his club Inter Milan, Eto’o’s confidence should be soaring sky high leaving him with no excuse for not showing up. I expect Denmark to fight hard but fall short, not just in this match, but also in the tournament in general.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Sebastien Bassong (defender, Tottenham), Geremi Njitap (defender, Ankaragucu)
Denmark- Nicklas Bendtner (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Thomas Enevoldsen (midfielder, Groningen), Jon Dahl Tomasson (forward, Feyenoord), Thomas Sorensen (goalkeeper, Stoke City)

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June 14, 7:30am

Netherlands vs Denmark

Alas, a match worth waking up for at 7:30 am. Netherlands should be atop Group E when all group matches are said and done, however, the question is who will be the 2nd team to advance? Quite frankly it will come down to Denmark and Cameroon. If Denmark can manage to squander a point from this match it will increase their chances of advancing greatly. Unfortunately, I can’t see them winning or coming out with a draw here. The Dutch should overpower the Danes and come out with a victory. Nevertheless, it should be an entertaining match, as the Oranje never fails to entertain.

Final score: 3-1

Key players to watch:

Netherlands- Wesley Sneijder (midfielder, Inter Milan), Rafael Van der Vaart (midfielder, Real Madrid), Arjen Robben (midfielder, Bayern Munich), Robin Van Persie (forward, Arsenal), Dirk Kuyt (forward, Liverpool)

Denmark- Nicklas Bendter (forward, Arsenal), Christian Poulsen (midfielder, Juventus), Daniel Agger (defender, Liverpool)

Japan vs Cameroon 10:00am

Cameroon should get off to a flying start as they face the lame duck of Group E. Japan do not have a very strong squad this time around and will find themselves overpowered by the Lions. Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o who will have to find his form if Cameroon wants any shot at advancing will spearhead Cameroon. Japan will lose this match but should be able to keep it relevant throughout the entire 90 minute period.

Final score: 1-0

Key players to watch:

Cameroon- Samuel Eto’o (forward, Inter Milan), Jean Makoun (midfielder, Lyon), Alex Song (midfielder, Arsenal)

Japan– Shinji Kagawa (midfielder, Borussia Dortmund), Shunsuke Nakamura (midfielder, Yokohama), Mitsuo Ogaswara (midfielder, Kashima)

Italy vs Paraguay 2:30pm

The defending world champions will trot forward an aging squad with little left in the gas tank. Marcello Lippi has barely tweaked the squad that won the cup 4 years ago. Unfortunately, that could end up hampering the Azzurri as the majority of the players are over the age of 30. Paraguay will be no push over and should present the Azzurri with a challenge. Italy is the favorite to win the group and Paraguay will battle Slovakia for the 2nd spot. Unfortunately for Paraguay they will be without striker Salvador Cabanas as he has not been able to fully recover from his tragic accident in time. Salvador was shot in the head at a bar in Mexico City back in January and has remarkably fought back. Nonetheless, Paraguay will still have options in attack with Roque Santa Cruz, Nelson Valdez and the in-form Oscar Cardozo. I expect this to be a close match with the Azzurri pulling away in the final minutes.

Final score: 2-1

Key players to watch:

Italy- Daniele De Rossi (midfielder, Roma), Gianluigi Buffon (goalkeeper, Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (defender, Juventus), Giuseppe Rossi (forward, Villareal), Giampaolo Pazzini (forward, Sampdoria)

Paraguay– Roque Santa Cruz (forward, Manchester City), Oscar Cardozo (forward, Benfica), Nelson Valdez (forward, Borussia Dortmund), Cristian Riveros (midfielder, Sunderland)

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