World Cup 2014

Brazil vs. Netherlands: 2014 FIFA World Cup | Third Place Match Preview

Brazil vs. Netherlands
2014 FIFA World Cup Third Place
July 12 | 4 pm ET | Estádio Nacional de Brasilia, Brasília, Brazil
TV: ESPN, Univision, CBC in Canada

With their shots at the trophy no longer intact, Brazil and the Netherlands will meet in Brasilia for the typically more-entertaining-than-dramatic third-place match.

This game will not have an impact on who wins the World Cup, but that does not mean it will come without fireworks; the last three third-place games have resulted in scorelines of 3-2, 3-1 and 3-2. Furthermore, the teams have combined for at least three goals in nine consecutive third-place matches, with seven of those decided by one goal or in extra time.

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WHERE'S THE MOTIVATION?: With their World Cup dreams dashed, you have to wonder where the motivation is for the players on the field. Playing for third place? We will see how the players respond when they take the field on Saturday afternoon. Arjen Robben, for one, has made his thoughts on the game pretty clear.

DEFIANT SCOLARI: After getting pulverized 7-1 at home, you would think Luiz Felipe Scolari would say he made some sort of mistake in his tactical plan coming into the game against Germany. That hasn’t exactly happened. Scolari has been asked to quit but has not resigned and has been quick to put out his good record in competitive matches over the past several years. We’ll see if his players have his back when we see their effort against the Dutch.

VAN GAAL LOOKING AHEAD: Louis van Gaal has made his thoughts on the third-place game pretty clear: He thinks the game should be abolished. He has also complained that his team have one day less to recover from their semifinal and that his players are risking injury by taking the field. With all that said, it seems he has already begun preparations for his new job with Manchester United, as he will be heading to England at the beginning of next week.

FAN RESPONSE: Even while Tuesday's semifinal was going on, we saw how emotional the Brazilian fans got as their heroes were letting in goal after goal against Germany. With three full days to think about it, how will they respond when they see their team come out of the tunnel? Will it be boos or cheers as the fans try and lift their team's spirits?

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THE STAR YOU KNOW

  • Thiago Silva, defender, Brazil – After having to watch his team get demolished from the stands while suspended, look for the Brazilian captain to come back and restore order to his side and its defense.

THE PLAYER WHO WILL SURPRISE YOU

  • Jordy Clasie, midfielder, Netherlands – He got to make his first appearance of the tournament against Argentina and performed well. Look for him to get the start, as Nigel de Jong will likely want some more time to rest his injury.