Category Archive: The Dark Horses

None of them are even considered contenders for the top spots now, but experience and in some case a surprise factor might just propel them ahead in Brazil this summer

Jun 30

Netherlands 2 – 1 Mexico: Van Gaal’s 2nd half change restricts Mexican wingbacks, after Dutch man-marking fails

  While the all-South American affair on Day 1 of the Knockout stage resulted in 2 contrasting encounters, this Mexico –Netherlands matchup in the alarming heat of Fortaleza turned out to be a key tactical battle between the Oranje who are the top scorers at the WC and the El Tri who have conceded the …

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Jun 29

Colombia 2 – 0 Uruguay: Oscar Tabarez’s tactical misjudgment affords Cuardado and James freedom from the flanks

Jose Pekerman’s golden generation delivered once again against a Uruguay team that looked out of breath right from the initial stages of the game. This sets up another sweet South American clash between Columbia and Brazil in the Quarters. James Rodriguez has turned out to be a sensation for Columbia in this WC, and the …

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Jun 11

Brazil Croatia preview: Kovac needs to adjust Vukojevic amidst his stars in midfield

  A clash between Brazil and Croatia might not resonate on the same notes as the opening clashes in other group doe: Spain-Netherlands, Italy-England or Germany-Portugal. But this opening clash of the World cup at Sao Paulo should be enough to justify that Brazil are indeed not in the easiest of groups. Scholari’s squad might …

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Jun 06

Analyzing the Transitioning French: Deschamps has the best midfield in the World Cup, but lack of a Plan-B can bring back jitters

  After Zizou’s headbutt in the 2006 World Cup finals, France have always been associated with controversy at any major tournament. Apart from being incredibly poor in the following 2 Euros and the 2010 WC, the French team has been continually marred by controversies from players like Anelka and Evra, and also by coaches like …

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Jun 01

Analyzing the Dutch bandwagon: De Jong and Janmaat crucial for Van Gaal’s new defencive setup

  Louis Van Gaal has been the man of the summer till now, and despite having labored through the 2 friendlies against Ecuador and Ghana in a newly introduced 5-3-2 system, both Van Persie goals would have been well celebrated in Holland and Manchester. Having swept through the Qualifying campaign with 9 wins out of …

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