View Full Version : FIFA WC Soccer 2010 , GROUP E: all previews, reviews and match thread

May 31, 2010, 12:18 AM


<center> <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border-collapse: collapse" bordercolor="#111111" width="75%" id="AutoNumber1" height="99"> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="19">&nbsp;</td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" align="center" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">Team</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">P</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">W</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">D</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">L</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">F</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">A</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">GD</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#C0C0C0" height="19"><b> <font face="Arial">PTS</font></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#66FF99"><b> <font face="Arial">1</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#66FF99" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Netherlands</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">5</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">1</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">4</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">9</font></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#66FF99"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#66FF99" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Japan</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">1</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">4</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#66FF99" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">6</font></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#FF6666"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#FF6666" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Denmark</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">1</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">6</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">-3</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> </tr> <tr> <td width="4%" align="center" height="20" bgcolor="#FF6666"><b> <font face="Arial">4</font></b></td> <td width="21%" bgcolor="#FF6666" align="center" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">Cameroon</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">3</font></b></td> <td width="9%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">2</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">5</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">-3</font></b></td> <td width="10%" align="center" bgcolor="#FF6666" height="20"><b> <font face="Arial">0</font></b></td> </tr> </table> </center>


Monday, June 14
11:30 - Holland 2 : 0 Denmark, Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
14:00 - Japan 1 : 0 Cameroon, Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Saturday, June 19
11:30 - Holland 1 : 0 Japan, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
18:30 - Cameroon 1 : 2 Denmark, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Thursday, June 24
18:30 - Denmark 1 : 3 Japan, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
18:30 - Cameroon 1 : 2 Holland, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town

* All times are GMT


http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/ned.gif HOLLAND: Goalkeepers: Sander Boschker, Maarten Stekelenburg, Michel Vorm
Defenders: Khalid Boulahrouz, Edson Braafheid , John Heitinga, Joris Mathijsen, Andre Ooijer, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Gregory van der Wiel
Midfielders: Ibrahim Afellay, Nigel de Jong, Demy de Zeeuw, Stijn Schaars, Wesley Sneijder, Mark van Bommel, Rafael van der Vaart
Forwards: Ryan Babel, Eljero Elia, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, Dirk Kuyt, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie
Coach: Bert Van Marwijk

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/den.gif DENMARK Goalkeepers: Thomas Sorensen, Stefan Andersen, Jesper Christiansen
Defenders: Daniel Agger, Simon Kjaer, Per Kroldrup, Lars Jacobsen, Simon Busk Poulsen, William Kvist Jorgensen, Patrick Mtiliga
Midfielders: Daniel Jensen, Christian Poulsen, Christian Eriksen, Jakob Poulsen, Martin Jorgensen, Mikkel Beckmann, Thomas Enevoldsen, Thomas Kahlenberg, Dennis Rommedahl, Jesper Gronkjaer
Forwards: Jon Dahl Tomasson, Nicklas Bendtner, Soeren Larsen
Coach: Morten Olsen

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/jap.gif JAPAN Goalkeepers: Seigo Narazaki, Eiji Kawashima, Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi
Defenders: Yuji Nakazawa, Marcus Tulio Tanaka, Yuichi Komano, Daiki Iwamasa, Yasuyuki Konno, Yuto Nagatomo, Atsuto Uchida
Midfielders: Shunsuke Nakamura, Yasuhito Endo, Kengo Nakamura, Junichi Inamoto, Yuki Abe, Makoto Hasebe, Keisuke Honda, Daisuke Matsui
Forwards Shinji Okazaki, Keiji Tamada, Yasuhito Okubo, Kisho Yano, Takayuki Morimoto
Coach: Takeshi Okada

http://www.fifa.com/imgml/flags/s/cmr.gif CAMEROON:Goalkeepers: Guy Roland Ndy Assembe, Carlos Kameni, Hamidou Souleymanou
Defenders: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Sebastien Bassong, Gaetan Bong, Aurelien Chedjou, Geremi, Stephane Mbia, Nicolas Nkoulou, Rigobert Song
Midfielders: Achille Emana, Eyong Enoh, Jean Makoun, Georges Mandjeck, Joel Matip, Landry NGuemo, Alex Song
Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Choupo-Moting, Samuel Eto'o, Mohamadou Idrissou, Achille Webo
Coach: Paul Le Guen

May 31, 2010, 11:08 PM
Hard pick for the second team. Holland should qualify as the first. Cameroon will really need Eto's help. And I want Japan to badly make it through. Should be amazing :)

June 1, 2010, 01:58 AM
This is not fair. I like all the teams in this group.

Holland will go thru.

Tough battle between the rest three. Would love to see the Japanese edge thru.

Can we swap a couple from this group to that england/usa group???

June 1, 2010, 05:59 AM
Holland and Japan FTW!

June 1, 2010, 10:13 AM
Netherlands and Japan indeed! Although Cameroon could very well sneak through.

June 1, 2010, 11:28 AM
holland and denmark ....

dirk kuyt, ryan babel and daniel agger .....

June 8, 2010, 03:38 PM
Orange Crush! Although Robben won't be playing in the first few games because of the hamstring injury.

June 13, 2010, 11:33 PM
Oranje aim to banish Danish demons of '92 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264055&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

Frequently labelled as perennial World Cup underachievers, Bert van Marwijk's Netherlands side take to the 2010 finals looking, once again, to shed that particular monkey off their back. And just as in tournaments gone by, they appear to have a squad possessing enough quality to mount a serious challenge.

The Oranje certainly have players capable of turning a game on its head with a moment of creative brilliance. Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder helped guide their respective club sides to the Champions League final, earning widespread praise for their influential displays and the Netherlands have been in fine goalscoring form during their warm-up games, scoring 12 goals in three victories over Mexico, Ghana and Hungary. But their defensive frailties remain and the likes of Joris Mathijsen and Johnny Heitinga do not inspire massive confidence at the back.

The 2010 Group E opener pits Van Marwjik's side against the nation they beat 3-0 during the group stage of Euro 2000 but, more famously, lost to in the semi-finals of Euro '92 - Denmark.

Since that victory in 1992, Denmark have flattered to deceive at major tournaments - aside from a quarter-final run at the 1998 World Cup that was ended after a narrow 3-2 defeat by Brazil - and missed out on qualification for both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. This time round, they will be relishing a return to the global arena and Morten Olsen's side have reason to be optimistic after an impressive qualification campaign, which saw them record away wins against both Sweden and Portugal.

Denmark's build-up has been poor, though, with a win against Senegal sandwiched by defeats against Austria, Australia and South Africa - and Olsen, who has been at the helm for ten years, must use all his experience to inspire improved performances from his side at the finals.

Netherlands player in focus: Wesley Sneijder. One of the best players in Europe last season, Sneijder was the midfield mastermind behind Inter Milan's Champions League triumph. His career has been resurrected at the San Siro after he struggled to make an impression at Real Madrid - despite starring for Netherlands at Euro 2008. With a keen eye for an incisive pass, Sneijder will be creator-in-chief for the Dutch and opponents should beware his accurate delivery from set-pieces, and superb shooting ability from distance.

Denmark player in focus: Christian Poulsen. After enduring a torrid season with Juventus, Poulsen will be relishing playing with a group of players who may actually resemble a team. A tough-tackling midfielder, his presence will be crucial in ensuring the likes of Sneijder and Van der Vaart don't see too much of the ball. Keep an eye on his temper though, he has a rather chequered disciplinary history.

Key battle: Robin van Persie v Daniel Agger. Van Persie has looked backed to his clinical best since returning to the national team, bagging four goals in the Oranje's three warm-up games. After missing a large chunk of Arsenal's season, despite an apparent visit to the Serbian placenta clinic, Van Persie now looks fresh and ready to spearhead Van Marwjik's forward line at the finals. Standing in his way for Denmark is Liverpool's Daniel Agger. Injury has kept his profile under the radar, but he has proved a commanding presence at the back for his country when he has played. His aerial ability isn't great, but he's more than capable of matching RVP on the ground.

Trivia: Aged just 18 years and three months old when the tournament starts, Denmark's Christian Eriksen will be the youngest player at the 2010 World Cup, narrowly ahead of Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon, and the youngest in his side by almost three years (Simon Kjaer was born on March 26, 1989)

Stats: The Netherlands have lost only one of their last 12 group stage matches at World Cup finals (against Belgium in 1994).

Odds: Netherlands (1.53), the draw (4.00), Denmark (6.50) with Bet365. Netherlands to lead at half-time, but a draw at full-time is priced attractively at 19.00.

Prediction: This could well be the game that decides who wins the group and so could prove to be a tight encounter, despite Netherlands plethora of attacking talent. Having faced Portugal in qualifying, Denmark showed themselves to be adept at handling teams full of forward flair and their organisation will be key again in this one. If the Danes stay disciplined, a draw is on the cards.

June 13, 2010, 11:39 PM
Blue Samurai must sharpen up to slay Lions
Playing in their fourth successive World Cup, Japan have managed consistent qualification but have yet to assert themselves on the international stage. The Blue Samurai face an uphill task to progress from Group E, if their recent form is anything to go by.

In 2010, Takeshi Okada's side have faltered every time they have played a nation possessing any quality. Defeats to rivals South Korea (twice), Serbia, England and Ivory Coast have yielded just one goal and Okada has somehow earned a Raymond Domenech-style finals reprieve despite being lambasted by fans and press alike in Japan. And one must certainly question the logic of the Japanese FA in putting their World Cup hopes in the hands of a coach who lost all three matches when he last guided the national side to the finals in 1998.

Japan's opponents in the opening game of Group E will be Africa's most successful World Cup nation, Cameroon. The Indomitable Lions reached the quarter-finals in 1990 - led by the scoring exploits and snaking hips of Roger Milla - and will be playing in an African-record sixth finals.

Despite being a national treasure, Milla risked wrecking Cameroon's build-up to the finals after criticising star striker Samuel Eto'o for failing to display his world-class club credentials for the national side. Eto'o did not take too kindly to Milla's comments and threatened to pull out of Paul Le Guen's World Cup squad, though fortunately for the Indomitable Lions, he changed his mind.

In Eto'o, Cameroon have an obvious match-winner and can also boast a physically imposing and athletic midfield in Achilles Emana, Alex Song and Jean Makoun. But make no mistake, their midfielder also possess plenty of guile to trouble a Japan side lacking real steel in the middle of the park.

Japan player in focus: Keisuke Honda. Undoubtedly one of the most naturally gifted players at Okada's disposal, Honda has flourished since moving from Dutch club VVV Venlo to CSKA Moscow in January. He netted the Russian club's winner against Sevilla in the Champions League and has the ability to unlock defences with a dribble or an incisive through ball.

Cameroon player in focus: Samuel Eto'o . Quite simply, he is the Indomitable Lions talisman. As his country's captain and leading goalscorer, the hopes of a nation rest on the Inter Milan striker's shoulders. Eto'o made one substitute appearance at the 1998 World Cup, but four years later was Cameroon's match-winner against Saudi Arabia. Having missed out on playing at the 2006 finals, he will be desperate to prove that he is capable of carrying the team forward on the biggest stage of them all.

Key battle: Tulio Tanaka v Pierre Webo. Tanaka is comfortable on the ball, and has impressive anticipation when marking his men, with Wayne Rooney's failure to score in a recent friendly testament to his abilities. In Webo, he has a tough opponent - a strong, fearsome frontman who is full of running and provides the perfect foil for Eto'o. The Mallorca striker is an excellent form going into the tournament having scored three goals in the final two warm-up games.

Trivia: None of Cameroon's 23-man squad play in the country's national league. Seven players ply their trade in France, four in Germany, three in Turkey, England and Spain, and one each in the Netherlands, Scotland and Italy.

Stats: Japan have never won a World Cup game outside of their country, losing five of their six games on foreign soil.

Odds: Japan (3.60), the draw (3.30), Cameroon (2.10) with Bet365. Samuel Eto'o for first goalscorer is priced at 5.00 and might be worth a punt.

Prediction: Both of these sides have flattered to deceive of late, and their poor recent results would suggest a draw is on the cards. But there will be one truly world class player on the pitch who can make all the difference, and Samuel Eto'o may just give Cameroon the edge.

June 14, 2010, 09:32 PM
yesterdays results.

nederlands 2 denmark 0
japan 1 cameroon 0

results and tables updated

June 19, 2010, 12:10 AM
Blue Samurai seeking upset (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264057&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

After two excellent opening wins, Japan and Netherlands could consider this game the battle for top spot. With the Dutch were always favourites to stroll through Group D, Japan's win over Cameroon came as something of a surprise to the watching public as they had not looked impressive in some of their pre-tournament friendly games.

However, a disciplined display that was not overflowing with creativity proved enough to see off the African side and Netherlands will be wary of pushing too many men forward in case they are caught on the counter attack. The likes of Yasuhito Endo and Keisuke Honda are dangerous on the break, while there is plenty of steel in midfield that provides the platform for their forays up the field.

But of course with a history of attacking football, the Dutch are well versed in the art of attacking football. Most likely, Japan will sit and attempt to break up their attacks with men behind the ball, but Dirk Kuyt, Wesley Sneijder and Eljerio Elia have the vision and skill to unlock any defence.

In their last encounter, the Dutch beat Japan 3-0 in September but did not have it all their own way before three goals in the last 20 minutes put gloss on the result. They will certainly be wary of the Blue Samurai's potential to cause an upset.

Netherlands player to watch: Gregory van der Wiel. The subject of interest from Manchester City, Arsenal and others during the summer, the Ajax right back has been in great form for his club and has made the defensive slot his own for his country now. Quick and agile, Van der Wiel is also as brave as they come and is a solid influence when he is not engaging on one of his trademarks bursts down the flank.

Japan player to watch: Daisuke Matsui. The man of the match from their opening win over Cameroon, the creative midfielder offered artistry in the attacking third for the Japanese and will the source of their attacking outlets again. He may not have the physical or mental strength of some on the side, but his experience will stand him in good stead and he will fancy his chances against the Dutch defence.

Key battle: Robin van Persie v Yuji Nakazawa. He did not have the impact that many predicted he would in the first game, but Van Persie is keen to prove himself in this Dutch side and will lead the line again. Boasting some of the best control in world football, Van Persie will play with his back to goal and allow his team-mates time and space on the ball, as well as looking to get behind his man. Nakazawa will have to use every minute of his 100-plus caps of experience to shut down his threat, but the defender's speed and acute sense of positioning could get him out of danger.

Trivia: Netherlands have won their three World Cup games against Asian sides, scoring ten goals in the process.

Stats: Six of Japan's last seven goals in the World Cup finals have been netted by midfielders, including Keisuke Honda's in the opening game against Cameroon. Against Denmark, Wesley Sneijder completed 61 of his 65 passes (94%) and created five goal-scoring chances.

Odds: Netherlands (1.44), Japan (9.00) and the draw (4.00) are all on offer at Bet 365, but a Mark van Bommel rocket could get you a goal anytime at 6.50.

Prediction: Japan will be well organised, but the Dutch are masters in breaking sides down and should have enough to take control of the group.

June 19, 2010, 12:11 AM
Cameroon crisis ahead of Denmark test (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264058&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen slammed his side's attitude after their opening defeat to Japan, but some of the side's senior players have questioned the decision of the coach to play some of the young players in such a vital match. All is not well in the camp and, as Le Guen attempts to heal the divisions, Denmark arrive on the scene determined to press their claims for a spot in the next round.

In dire need of a win, both sides know that defeat here could end their World Cup campaigns, but Cameroon are in crisis as off-pitch criticism hinders their preparations and Denmark will view them as ripe for the picking.

The Danes were seen as favourites to come second in the group, but their opening defeat to the Dutch leaves them playing catch-up. They were exposed for a lack of creativity in midfield and something will have to change if they are to unlock the Cameroon defence, but a qualification campaign that saw off the likes of Portugal and Sweden proves they have the players to make an impact.

Cameroon player to watch: Alex Song. The Arsenal midfielder was left on the bench for the first game and they missed his presence in the middle of the pitch. A real ball-winner, Song's influence calms the Cameroon side and, when they have the ball, they can rest assured that he will provide the defence with cover. A good passer as well, he distributes the ball well and his inclusion is likely to stiffen the resolve of the Indomitable Lions.

Denmark player to watch: Nicklas Bendtner. A striker who blows hot and cold for club and country, he does not lack self-belief but, after a poor showing against Netherlands, he will be pushed further into the spotlight. A tall and agile frontman, he certainly gets himself into good positions but sometimes lacks the composure and finishing touch that make for a top-class striker. He will be under pressure to perform, but will fancy facing up against a shaky Cameroon defence.

Key battle: Samuel Eto'o v Simon Kjaer. After some pre-tournament build-up that suggested Eto'o may not even make the finals, he was marked out of the first game against Japan and did not make the impact he would have hoped for. However, now he will get his chance to play through the middle and will find himself up against one of the best young defenders in the business. The Palermo man is seeking his big move and most of Europe's elite are tracking him. How he handles one of Europe's best strikers could impact on where he ends up.

Trivia: Rigobert Song has racked up 135 caps with Cameroon. A defender now playing in the Turkish leagues, Song has the dubious distinction of being the youngest player ever sent off in the World Cup, aged 17.

Stats: Cameroon have won just one of their last 11 matches at World Cup finals, and have lost the last two without scoring. Denmark have always qualified for the knockout stages in their previous World Cup participations (1986, 1998 and 2002).

Odds: Ghana (2.87), Australia (2.50) and the draw (3.25) are all on offer at Bet 365, but a 2-1 win to Denmark will get you 10.00.

Prediction: Both historical encounters between Cameroon and Denmark have ended 2-1 with each team winning once, so this one is too close to call. With Cameroon's issues off the pitch, 2-1 to Denmark looks a realistic outcome.

June 19, 2010, 09:43 PM
this group is now very straight forward.

Holland are through to knock out Round.... .... ....

Cameroon are out of WC.

Denmark vs Japan: this game will decide the 2nd team. a team for any team takes them through. a draw and japan will go through due to beter GD

June 23, 2010, 11:38 AM
Battle for second place (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264059&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

Specialists at this stage of the competition, if Denmark beat Japan they will reach the second round of the World Cup for the fourth time in four World Cup appearances. They also have a very good record against Asian sides, having won ten of their 15 meetings, drawing three times and losing just once.

The 2-1 win against Cameroon marked the first time that Denmark had come from behind to win a match at the World Cup, so they will be full of confidence going in to the game, as the Japanese come off the back of a defeat to Denmark.

Three of the last four goals that Japan have conceded came from shots from outside the box in open play and Wesley Sneijder's effort suggests that the Danes might be best following his lead and having a go from distance. Japan have only won one of their six meetings with European sides at the World Cup so the Danes are firm favourites to set up a potential clash with Paraguay in the second round.

Denmark player to watch: Dennis Rommedahl. He may not extend the same influence as he has managed in the past, but the flying winger's goal was crucial in saving the game against Cameroon. Still boasting a good turn of pace, his tricks on the flanks will create plenty of chances for his team-mates and he will be one of the main attacking outlets for the Danes.

Japan player to watch: Makoto Hasebe. The Japan captain will need to lead from the front to drive his side on. A tough tackler, he also has finesse to his game and his role in the centre of the pitch will be key for his country. Still only 26, he carries the expectations of his country on his shoulders.

Key Battle: Christian Poulsen v Yasuhito Endo. The Juventus midfielder is the tiger in midfield that wins the ball back and generally causes havoc for the opposition. He is a committed tackler and has a fiery temper, but also now has the experience to keep it in check. He made an error in the Cameroon game and will be keen to atone for it, but he will have to use every bit of energy to track down Endo. A creative force, with a great delivery from set-pieces, if Japan are to claim the point they need then Endo may be key.

Trivia: Denmark have never missed a penalty at the World Cup, scoring all four of their spot-kicks.

Stats: Only in two of their 12 World Cup matches have the 'Blue Samurai' scored more than one goal and have never won a World Cup game in which their opponents have scored.

Odds: Denmark (2.25), Japan (3.40) and a draw (3.30) are all available at Bet 365, but Japan to lead at half-time, Denmark at full-time gets you 29.00.

Prediction: A draw is enough for Japan to get through in second place, but Denmark will be going all-out in attack and should have enough to get the win.

June 23, 2010, 11:41 AM
Indomitable Lions left to play for pride (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/preview?id=264060&league=FIFA.WORLD&cc=4716&ver=global)

With the Dutch already qualified and Cameroon already out, the match holds little importance, save for a chance to restore some pride to the Indomitable Lions.

Paul Le Guen's team have not won in their last seven games and confidence is at an all-time low after in-fighting in the camp that saw the coach come in for blooding young players too quickly. But with very little positive news to take from their experiences in South Africa, the side have a chance to upset the likely group winners, who will already be targeting a potential game in the second round against Italy.

Bert van Marwijk's team performed well in their warm-up matches and have extended that run into the tournament, with many tipping the Dutch to go all the way. With an emphasis on attacking football, they have won over many neutrals and should not be troubled too much by the first side to drop out of the World Cup.

Cameroon player to watch: Souleymanou Hamidou. Keeping Carlos Kameni out of the side, the veteran goalkeeper has had to watch as his side dropped out of the tournament. Not expected to keep the No.1 spot, he has now made it his own and will be tested to the fullest against a sharp Dutch attack.

Netherlands player to watch: Arjen Robben. He may not be granted a start if the coach decides to stick with the same XI as the win over Japan, but the fit-again winger will certainly be given some playing time. Having recovered from a hamstring injury that he picked up attempting to do a backheel in a warm-up match, Robben will be a key player for the Dutch if they are to progress further in the tournament.

Key Battle: Pierre Webo v Johnny Heitinga. Leading the line with Samuel Eto'o, Webo plays an important role in using his strength and power to create space for his team-mates. Boasting good pace and clever off-the-ball runs, he has not fired in front of goal, but is an important part of Cameroon's attack. Meanwhile Netherlands have only conceded two goals in their past six World Cup matches, keeping four clean sheets in the process, and Everton's Heitinga has played a vital role in this. Strong and committed, he is the star of an underappreciated Dutch back four.

Trivia: This is Cameroon's 20th World Cup match, the most by any African side, but they were the first side to be knocked out of the 2010 World Cup.

Stats: Twenty-six of the 32 goals Cameroon have conceded at World Cups have come against European opponents - and they haven't won any of their past nine meetings with European sides at finals.

Odds: Cameroon (4.50), Netherlands (1.83) and a draw (3.60) are all available at Bet 365, but a 3-0 win for the Dutch will get you 15.00.

Prediction: With nothing but pride to play for, Cameroon will surely be turned over by an efficient, if not quite Total, Dutch side.

June 24, 2010, 03:30 PM
well done holland and japan