World Cup Daily: Brazil-Netherlands in Third Place game

World Cup Daily: Brazil-Netherlands in Third Place game
July 12, 2014, 12:30 pm
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Game of the Day: Brazil vs. Netherlands, 4 p.m. ET (ESPN)

With only two games left in the World Cup, we are treated to a dream matchup under unfortunate circumstances. With Neymar and Thiago Silva out of their semifinal match, Brazil were embarrassed in front of their home fans by Germany, 7-1. Meanwhile, the Dutch got here after falling in penalty kicks to Argentina -- after starting off with central defender Ron Vlaar, a curious choice. 

The Dutch are a mix of experience and youth, but one of their most talented players has been relegated to the bench for most of his career -- forward Klass-Jan Huntelaar. He has always been in Robin van Persie's shadow and only rarely gets to come out from behind it. Is it time to let 'The Hunter' loose and start a game at the World Cup? Van Persie hasn't really done much since his goal against Australia in the second group game.

For Brazil, maybe just play without a striker? Fred and Jo have offered nothing so far this tournament except for flopping and disappointment, heavy on the disappointment. The Brazilians have already called for manager Luiz Scolari's head following the 7-1 loss to Germany, so does he have any intention of making a go out of this for the third place game?

Do the Dutch have any incentive for this game? Manager Louis van Gaal has already questioned FIFA about the need of the Third Place game anymore, and I can't say he's wrong. 

Player of the Day: F Memphis Depay, Netherlands

After a strong start to the tournament in the group stage, I'm surprised we haven't seen more out of this talented youngster in the knockout round. He started against Costa Rica and then didn't see the field against Argentina. With nothing, well third place, on the line you would think van Gaal would let him loose. 

Football Follies: All of the award nominations for the World Cup came out this week, and I noticed one glaring omission -- Tim Howard from the Golden Gloves. Howard posted a ridiculous Squawka score by a goalkeeper in the game against Belgium. Maybe he doesn't win, but a nomination would be nice.

Prediction: Netherlands 2, Brazil 2 (Netherlands win PKs).