Durban: Netherlands will be on a lookout to keep their record intact against Asian teams of no losses as they take on Japan in their Group E encounter at Durban. The Dutch side has never lost against an Asian country.
Japan and the Netherlands have only met once, with the Dutch winning 3-0 in a friendly nine months ago.
Netherlands won their first match against Denmark 2-0, helped by
an own goal, and the players are high on confidence of making it
till the very end.
However, they won't be taking the Asians lightly who managed to come out with an impressive victory against the Cameroon side. The coach is likely to play with the same XI who won against Denmark. The strength of the Dutch lies in their attack and would surely be testing the Japan defense.
Van Persie in the middle will be the key player for the Dutch side as he was influential in their opening match, combining well with Van der vaart and Sneijder before he was substituted. His presence will be key for the Dutch side.
Meanwhile, Arjen Robben joined the Dutch training session for the first time since he sustained a hamstring injury on June 5 but still is unlikely to feature in Saturday"s match against Japan.
Blue Samurais will be banking on their 24-year-old Keisuke
Honda, Japan"s man of the match against Cameroon and scorer of the
only goal, who knows about dutch football. He has played in
Netherlands for VVV-Venlo, where he scored 24 times in 64
appearances. Surely, after his motivating goal against the Cameroon
side, he will be hoping to disappoint the dutch side.
The skipper of Japan side, Makoto Hasabe was happy with their defense against the Cameroon side and now is hoping to take more attacking strides when they face-off against the Dutch side.
Japan coach Takeshi Okada is reported to be very positive ahead of the match stating that the Asian side has learned their lessons after their previous clash where they were defeated. Okada believes his team can beat the Dutch side and create a big upset.
Players to watch out for
Netherlands: Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, Dirk Kuyt, robin van persie
Japan: Keisuke Honda, Makoto Hasabe