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Nic Ladds 18th Jun 2010 - 9:41

Can the Oranje boom in to form?

The race for qualification from Group E really hots up in this match as both Holland and Japan picked up wins in their opening matches and the winner of this match is surely going to make it to the knock-out stage.

Holland (4/9), like many teams so far, looks shaky and uncomfortable despite their 2-0 win over Denmark. They needed a freak own goal and a late tap in from Dirk Kuyt before they settled in to their football.

Holland have been many people's outside tip for the World Cup this year with their squad containing many big names. They are serial under-achievers historically and I do wonder whether they will have enough when they come up against some of the bigger names.

Despite their shaky start, Holland should have no problem overcoming Japan.

Japan (7/1) edged out Cameroon 1-0 (11/1 in this match) in what was arguably one of the worst matches in a poor start in South Africa. A lack-lustre crowd saw two pretty disappointing teams battle it out in a match that could so easily have ended in a stalemate.

Japan are undoubtedly hard-working and will set themselves out very defensively to make it as tough as possible for Holland to play any sort of attacking football.

I think the Asian side will sit with plenty of men behind the ball, closing down Holland as much as they can and keeping chances to a minimum, hoping for a set-piece chance or space to open up for a counter attack.

Japan managed to beat Cameroon with just three shots - no side has done that since 1966 in the World Cup finals.

It is because of this I predict a low-scoring affair between these sides. Under 3 goals is 13/20 or Under 2 match goals is 2/1.

For me, Wesley Sneijder is key to anything Holland do this World Cup. The unsung hero is a linchpin in the middle and was the best man on the park for me in the 2-0 over Denmark

Not only does he provide chances for his team, completing 94% of his 65 attempted passes against Denmark and creating five goal scoring chances, he also chips in with a few too. 14 goals in 62 international appearances isn't a bad return for a midfielder and I will be backing him to score first at 6/1 and anytime at 7/4.

Holland should progress from this group with ease; they could win every match without breaking a sweat. Teams will try to make it as difficult as possible for them to play their normal brand of attacking football but the 1-0 and 2-0 scorelines are where my money will be going at 4/1 and 5/1 respectively.

If you disagree and think the Oranjes will tear apart their opposition today then I would look at the -1 goal handicap. At 13/10 it provides much better value on the 90 minute price for Holland to win at a canter.



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