Netherlands vs. Ghana: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

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Netherlands vs. Ghana: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Rotterdam plays host to an intriguing pre-World Cup friendly as the Netherlands host African stalwarts Ghana on Saturday.

Louis van Gaal's team will have the spotlight on them in the next few weeks as one of the nations capable of progressing deep into the tournament, even if they are not considered among the outright favourites.

Ghana made it to the last eight in the last World Cup, but expectations are not as high this time around.

Here is how you can watch this exciting match:

 

When: Saturday, May 31, at 7:30 p.m. BST/2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam, Netherlands

TV: MUTV (UK only)

Live Stream: MUTV (UK only); ESPN3 (U.S. only) 

 

Ghana Ready for World Cup

Risto Bozovic/Associated Press

Ghana manager Kwesi Appiah has expressed his delight and pleasure at his team's preparations for the World Cup finals, in Brazil. 

The Black Stars performed wonders at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa when they reached the quarter-finals, equalling the African continent's best performance in history, and they won many friends along the way.

However, this time they are grouped with Germany, United States and Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal, making progression highly unlikely.

But Appiah is still confident, saying, per Russell Greaves of Goal.com:

The unity is so great and discipline is very high. 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.

Ahmed Gomaa/Associated Press

Ghana's friendly match in Rotterdam will prepare them for the European style of football that Germany will stylistically perpetuate in Brazil. 

Appiah's team made their progression through qualification in one of the region's toughest groups featuring 2012 Africa Cup of Nations winners Zambia, per FIFA.com.

Ghana then made their way to the play-offs to face the might of seven-time African champions Egypt and gave the performance of their lives, beating them 7-3 on aggregate over two legs. 

Ghana will have no pressure on them at the World Cup and could yet again surprise a few in their group. The impetus lies with Germany and Portugal, so the Black Stars can go all out and perform to their maximum with little expectation or fear. 

Asamoah Gyan will once again be the team's focal point as he was four years ago, and with a supporting cast of the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, Ghana have the depth in quality to ask questions of any opponent. 

 

Netherlands Lose Rafael Van Der Vaart

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

The Dutch national side were dealt a blow for their World Cup campaign after learning they would lose experienced midfielder Rafael van der Vaart through injury.

The former Tottenham star has sustained damage to a calf, ruling him out of the finals in Brazil, per John Drayton of the Mail Online, injuring himself during a Netherlands training session.

It is expected that Van Gaal will replace him with 23-year-old PSV Eindhoven midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Dutch football journalist and Bleacher Report writer Elko Born posted to his Twitter account Van Der Vaart's reaction to the injury:

Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Van Der Vaart has had a tough season in the Bundesliga as captain of Hamburg and only narrowly avoided relegation from the German top flight. 

The Dutchman has 109 caps for his country, per Drayton, and has scored on 25 occasions. His experience would have been vital at the tournament, having played in the final in 2010.

Netherlands will have a tough journey to the knockout round, having been drawn to play Spain, Australia and a very strong Chile side.

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If they can navigate their way out of the group and stay in the competition, they have every chance of having a successful campaign in Brazil. 

In Robin van Persie, they have one of the great strikers in world football. The Dutch may not have as potent a team as they had four years ago, but they can still mix it with the best in Europe. 

Van Persie will be crucial in the upcoming competition, and Van Gaal will be praying that he can keep the Manchester United attacker fit during the whole of the summer. 

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