Monday’s Round of 16 match between Slovakia and Holland at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa is arguably the biggest mismatch of this stage of the 2010 World Cup.
Holland secured a full nine points from their Group E matches while Slovakia suffered the humiliation of a tie against New Zealand, before springing the upset of the tournament with a 3-2 win over Italy.
What makes Slovakia’s chances even slimmer is that the Dutch have star winger Arjen Robben back in the fold as a starter. He came on as a late substitute in the last Group E match against Cameroon after sitting out three weeks with a calf he injured in a World Cup warm-up.
With a potential quarterfinal match-up against Brazil on the horizon, Holland cannot afford to receive yellow cards, with six Dutch players on yellow card warning.
In addition to Robben making his first 2010 World Cup start for Holland, Gregory van der Wiel returns at right back. Rafael van der Vaart is out due to a calf strain.
Slovakia manager Vladimir Weiss announced a starting lineup featuring his namesake and son, who was left out in the dramatic win vs. Italy. Forward Robert Vittek, who is looking to become Slovakia's all-time leading scorer, is the scoring star. Captain Marek Hamsik, who plays for Napoli in the Italian Serie A, is yet to leave his mark on this tournament.
Lineups (right to left):
Netherlands (4-5-1): #1 Maarten Stekelenburg – #2 Gregory van der Wiel, #3 John Heitinga, #4 Joris Mathijsen, #5 Giovanni van Bronckhorst – #11 Arjen Robben, #8 Nigel de Jong, #10 Wesley Sneijder, #6 Mark van Bommel, #7 Dirk Kuyt – #9 Robin van Persie
Slovakia (4-4-2): #1 Jan Mucha – #2 Peter Pekarik, #3 Martin Skrtel, #16 Jan Durica, #5 Radoslav Zabavnik – #7 Vladimir Weiss, #15 Miroslav Stoch, #17 Marek Hamsik, #19 Juraj Kucka – #18 Erik Jendrisek, #11 Robert Vittek
Referee: Alberto Undiano (Spain)