Preview: Netherlands v Argentina

The Netherlands and Argentina will fight it out for top spot in Group C in Frankfurt on Wednesday.

    On the ball: Argentina players relax at training

    After the draw for the group stage of the World Cup Finals was made, Group C was labelled by many as the 'Group of Death', containing Argentina, Ivory Coast, Netherlands and Serbia & Montenegro.

    Four games later, two of the four teams are out of contention whilst the other two have gone on to be amongst the favourites to win the Cup.

    With both teams already certain of a place in the second round, all that matters is who will play who from Group D, in which Portugal, Mexico and Angola are still alive.

    Argentina have been arguably the most impressive of the side of the tournament so far with their performances in their first two matches yielding eight goals and just one against.

    Yellow fever

    Jose Pekerman, Albicelestes coach, hinted at resting some of his players who are sitting on yellow cards, to ensure they are eligible for their second round match, while not giving too much away on his preferred line up.

    "I haven't entertained thoughts of making more changes than those who are on a yellow card but anyway I can't confirm my team," Pekerman told reporters.

    Atletico Madrid striker Maxi Rodriguez scored two goals in his side’s 6-0 drubbing of Serbia & Montenegro but was weary of an in-form Dutch side who have class all over the park.

    "They're very competitive and have some big names. We know the likes of Arjen Robben, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and  Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but there's more to the Dutch than them,” said Rodriguez.

    "They've got some good young players too and we'll need to be on our guard against them for sure," he added.

    "One thing's for sure though, we'll be going all out for the win to finish top."

    Moving in good circles: The Dutch
    plot an Argentinian downfall

    While they haven’t scored as many goals as their South American opponents, the Netherlands have also looked good in their two wins to date, with Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy opening his account against Ivory Coast.

    The Dutchman also alluded to players being left out so as not to be suspended for the next round, but also stressed that his team would like to continue their winning run and finish first in the group.

    "There's still something to play for with being number one in the group and that can be an advantage," van Nistelrooy said.

    "Maybe players will be rested or left out if they have yellow cards, but we'll have to wait and see what the team will do in that game,” he added.

    "We have to show we deserve to go all the way at this tournament."

    On current performances both Argentina and Netherlands are deserving of going all the way to the final of Germany 2006, but on Wednesday in Frankfurt only one of them will be atop the Group C table.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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