Match: NETHERLANDS v GHANA
Date: May 31, 2014
Time: 19:00 GMT
After pitching camp in the Netherlands for almost a week now, all is set for the Black Stars to test their might against the Netherlands before jetting off to Miami for the next phase of their World Cup preparations.
Saturday’s game will be the second time both sides face off after a 2010 encounter saw the Black Stars suffering a humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of their Dutch counterparts.
Goals in that game were scored by Dirk Kuyt, Rafael van der Vaart, Robin van Persie, and Wesley Sneijder.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal will field his first choice XI for the World Cup and in the new 5-3-2 system he has implemented in recent weeks.
“Before the match, I will announce my 23 man squad,” the coach told reporters. “On Monday I have to give my list to Fifa, but I will make my decision earlier. Against Ghana our starting XI during the World Cup will play.”
However, in recent times, the Netherlands have been a pale shadow of themselves after failing to secure a single win in their last four (4) games.
Their recent disappointment came in a recent friendly against Ecuador when they had to rely on a late first half Robben Van Persie stunner to beat Ecuador at the Amsterdam Arena.
Louis van Gaal will be without the services of veteran attacking midfielder, Rafael Van Der Vaart and Right back, Daryl Janmaat after they all suffered injuries while training this week.
Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder and Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben are all expected to make a comeback into the Dutch starting line-up after both players missed their last friendly against Ecuador.
The Black Stars on the other hand will be with a full house after Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Adam Larsen Kwarasey and Sulley Muntari reported to camp this week.
Kwesi Appiah: “The unity is so great and discipline is very high,” he said ahead of Saturday’s match against the Dutch in Rotterdam. “Discipline plays a big role, if you want to be successful, 100 per cent lies with the players’ behaviour and so far it has been good.
“There is this kind of competition, no one is sure of himself at the moment. Everybody is attentive to whatever is taught in training. Everyone tries to do whatever he can and for me, it’s good for the team and I am really impressed.”
The Ghana Black Stars are expected to appear in a 4-2-3-1 setup which will see them building-up play in a slow manner and try to catch the Dutch on fast counter break with their swift and trickery wingers.
On the Other hand, the Netherlands will line-up in an adventurous 5-3-2 formation which will allow their wing-backs join attack often and launch crosses to feed both Sneijder and Van Persie with the right balls.
Possible Netherlands line-up: Cillessen, Verhaegh, Blind, Martins-Indi, De Vrij, Vlaar, Clasie, De Jong, Sneijder, Robben, Van Persie
Possible Ghana line-up: Kwarasey, Opare, Afful, Akaminko, Boye, Essien, Muntari, Asamoah, Ayew, Boateng, Gyan
By: Benjamin Epton Owusu/citifmonline.com/Ghana