Netherlands - Norway

Netherlands is the first European selection that booked the place in South Africa. Football pundits were suspicious when Bert van Marwijk inherited Marco van Basten on position of national team coach. But, with the performances in group 9, he silented them all. All six wins, with 14 goals scored and just two conceded. At home, they look masterful. All three wins, with nine goals scored and not a single goal conceded. It is hard to say what is the biggest strength of this squad. Attacking potential with players like Huntelaar, Van Persie, Robben, Kuyt, or Van der Vaart, or defence line which conceded just two goals from six games. Tonight will be celebrating atmosphere. Home side will play without any pressure, but with intention to repay the fan’s support with another win. Except Nigel de Jong, all players are available. Bert van Marwijk and players have been telling the press that they want to win and to go on holidays with a good feeling. Even with the mixed eleven, Dutch would be the favorites.

Norway’s current shape looks totally opposite than Dutch’s. They’re winless in four games, with three draws and home defeat (0-1) against tonight’s opponent. Coach Age Hareide lost his job and he was replaced with well-known name Morten Olsen. Olsen has already two times led Norway to World Cup, but this time it looks like mission impossible. Watching the group table, their position isn’t hopeless, as they need three points to involve in fight for place number two. But, two goalless draws on the road don’t make this travel too optimistic. And Rotterdam surely isn’t a place where You want to correct the mistakes. At saturday in Macedonia, beside showing the old imperfection with no scoring (John Carew was one-on-one with goalie), Norway was outplayed. The mood was additionally decreased when the skipper and probably the best player Brede Hangeland got the suspending yellow card. Odd Grenland midfielder Simen Brenne are also out through injury and have been replaced by Rosenborg's Alexander Tettey. Norway has nothing to wait, than to attack.

With anything less than three points, Norway will end this campaign and must attack. Dutch will appreciate that manner and will try to bury their hopes and greeting the fans with another convincing victory. I think Netherlands is the favorite, but also think Norway can score. My choice is goals. Pinnacle offers 2.05. Over.


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