Romania and Holland have won all three of their World Cup Qualifying matches thus far, but that will have to change now that the top teams from Group 4 are set for a showdown.
Defense has been a strength for the Romanians, as they have yet to concede a goal in their matches. But the Dutch boast a frighteningly talented group of attackers and have scored nine goals to start their qualifying campaign.
With a disciplined back line set to clash against a world-class corps of forward players, one team will walk off the field disappointed.
Here is how to catch all the action online.
Where: National Arena, Bucharest, Romania
When: Tuesday, October 16, 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
What to Watch For
Romanian Midfielder Gabriel Torje
The 22-year-old attacking midfielder has been the clear focal point of Romania’s attack.
Torje is playing for Granada this season while on loan from Udinese, and he is a bright young talent. His skills have been on full display while playing for his country.
He has two goals and two assists, while the team has only scored seven goals. The Dutch must find a way to contain Torje in order to keep Romania out of the back of the net.
Holland’s defense has been suspect in recent tournaments, and Torje is certainly capable of exploiting his opponent’s back line.
If Romania gets on the scoreboard, the young midfielder will almost certainly be involved.
Louis van Gaal’s Lineup
The Dutch coach always has a difficult choice in his hands when picking a starting 11.
With Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben headlining an even deeper list of attacking players, picking the right combination of players for the occasion can be a headache-inducing affair.
He has not had to use his big guns often thus far in the qualifying campaign, but playing away from home against an unbeaten side may cause him to put his stars on the pitch.
The lineup van Gaal chooses for this game will certainly have a profound effect on the outcome.
For the Netherlands, talent has never been an issue.
But the team was monumentally disappointing at Euro 2012 this past summer, and the attacking players failed to play together effectively.
Now, the Dutch have an entire qualifying campaign to figure out the combinations of players who perform well together. This will be one of the few competitive matches the team will play leading up to the 2014 World Cup, and it must take advantage of the opportunity to show improvement.
If the choppy, errant passing continues, the team and its fans should be worried about another letdown in Brazil.
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