Holland vs. Costa Rica Team News, Key Men, History and Prediction

Holland will bid to reach the semi-finals of the world cup for the second successive tournament when they on surprise package Costa Rica. Ahead of the clash Footybunker looks at the key men for both teams, the team news, current form and history.

Key men

With so much attacking talent on display picking a key man for the Dutch is tough, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin Van Persie have all excelled to date as too has Daley Blind. The versatile Ajax man has switched with each between left back and midfield throughout the tournament setting up two goals in the process. The player is likely to be back in the middle of the park with Nigel de Jong out and he will need to be at his best to ensure that the energetic Costa Rican’s don’t overrun the Dutch.

Arsenal forward Joel Campbell may have scored just one goal to date but he has looked lively throughout the tournament with his pace causing problems for opposition defences. The striker has already secured a return to the Gunners after loan spells with Olympiacos and Real Betis and he will be keen to build on his impressive campaign so far with another strong game. His penalty against Greece in the shoot-out showed the level of confidence that the player is operating at and if Los Chicos are to have any chance of success the 22 year old will be key.

Team News:

Holland will be without Nigel de Jong for the game after the tough tackling midfielder was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a groin injury. Daley Blind is the most likely replacement with Bruno Indi Martin moving into defence. Wesley Sneijder should be fit despite struggling with a back injury since the win over Mexico.

Costa Rica meanwhile will be without two of the key defenders with Oscar Duarte suspended and Roy Miler out of the tournament with a muscle injury.  Fatigue could also be an issue for the Costa Rican’s after their gruelling encounter with the Greeks.


Holland have won all of their games to date, scoring 12 goals and conceding just three. A 5-1 win over Spain in their opening game set the stage and they followed up that performance with wins over Australia, Chile and Mexico. The win over Mexico was perhaps their toughest to date with goals from Wesley Sneijder two minutes from the end and a penalty from Jan Klaas-Huntelaar deep into stoppage time sealing a 2-1 win.

Previous meetings

This will be the first meeting between the two sides so there is no previous history to go by however given that Holland are three times runners up and Costa Rica are enjoying their best ever tournament, history favours the more illustrious country.  Since 1974 every tournament that the Dutch have qualified for they have never finished lower than 15th and in addition to being runners up in 1974, 1978 and 2010 they also finished 4th in 1998.   Costa Rica meanwhile are appearing in just their fourth tournament and this is only the second time they have reached the knock-out stages.


As tempting as the , it is hard to see past th. Van Gaal’s men look stronger on paper and that should transfer on to the pitch especially with the Costa Rican’s playing an additional 30 minutes last time out.  Given the attacking potential of the Dutch, the to score anytime is too tempting to ignore.

Trevor is a Dublin based journalist and content writer, having already written a number of sports related books, including Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story. You can follow Trevor at Google here.

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