World Cup 2014: Live Stream, Predictions, Preview for Brazil vs. Netherlands

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World Cup 2014: Live Stream, Predictions, Preview for Brazil vs. Netherlands
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Brazil and the Netherlands are coming off heartbreaking losses in the World Cup semifinals.

They were just two wins away from their ultimate goal and must now try to refocus in time to play a third-place match. It's not an easy task.

Of course, each side was eliminated in a vastly different manner. The Selecao were destroyed 7-1 by Germany as fans from the host nation looked on in shock. The Oranje went to penalty kicks before falling short against Argentina.

It creates an interesting dynamic heading into a match that's probably more of a burden than a consolation prize. With that in mind, let's check out all of the important details for the clash, followed by a preview and prediction.

 

Which team will win third place at the 2014 World Cup?

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Viewing Information

Where: Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, Brazil

When: Saturday, July 12 at 4 p.m. ET/9 p.m. BST

Watch: ESPN/BBC

Live Stream: ESPN3/BBC iPlayer

 

Match Preview

Unsurprisingly, the vibe ahead of the third-place match was negative. Brazil missed out on a chance to win the World Cup on home soil while the Netherlands watched their hopes end on penalties; both cruel exits on the biggest stage in the sport.

The Telegraph passed along comments from Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, who tried to put things in perspective but struggled to do so:

I understand what a spot, what a stain this is. I know what shame is all about, I know what is about. I will keep that and it will never leave me. But I am going to continue with my life, my players will continue with their lives.

Life goes on and we have another objective to achieve, third place on Saturday.

On the opposite side, Dutch superstar Arjen Robben had no interest in sugarcoating his thoughts about the match, per the Associated Press (via USA Today): "They (Brazil) can keep it. Only one prize counts and that is becoming world champion."

What's your opinion about the third-place game?

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The third-place game is good for the purpose of helping bridge the gap between the semifinals and the championship match. For the players involved, however, it's very difficult to get back in a good mental state after watching a chance to win the World Cup slip away.

That said, once the match starts, the competitive juices usually start flowing again. They won't be at the same level as a final, but both sides will hope to end on a high note.

It's a goal that's more prominent for Brazil. The country did a lot to get prepared to welcome the world for this event and everybody hoped the payoff would be raising the World Cup trophy.

That's no longer possible, but giving fans one last chance to cheer would help alleviate at least some of the pain. While it won't erase the memory of the German rout, a win is something to help the fanbase move forward.

The squad will also be boosted by the return of captain Thiago Silva. He was banned from the semifinal due to yellow card accumulation, and the impact was felt in a major way during the loss, as noted by Ben Hayward of Goal:

All the talk before the Germany match was about Neymar's absence, but Thiago Silva was missed much more as the Selecao defense capitulated in catastrophic circumstances. The captain will be expected to restore some discipline at the back on Saturday—but lifting morale will be a tough task after Tuesday's nightmare defeat.

As for the Netherlands, it was a popular pick to go out early due to a tough group. That didn't happen as the Oranje overcame the absences of Rafael van der Vaart and Kevin Strootman to quickly establish themselves as contenders again.

They didn't reach their ultimate goal. Finishing third would still be a nice accomplishment based on the pre-tournament predictions, though. A lot depends on the attitude of Robben, who clearly wasn't interested in the match after the semifinal loss, and his fellow stars.

All told, the match means more to Brazil as the host nation. And in a match where determination is a major factor given the disappointment of just a few short days ago, that's enough to swing the advantage to the Selecao.

Expect Silva to bring some stability back to the defense, which will help give the attack more time on the ball. It should be enough to score a narrow victory over the Dutch.

Prediction: Brazil 2, Netherlands 1

 

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