Netherlands vs Uruguay: Three reasons why the Netherlands will win

The Dutch team that dispatched of Brazil in the quarterfinals is heavily favored to beat a weaker South American team in today's Netherlands vs Uruguay semifinal. Here's why.

Frank Augstein/AP
DUTCH PRIDE: From left, Netherlands' players Dirk Kuyt, Mark van Bommel, and Arjen Robben celebrate at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Brazil at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The Dutch team is favored to win today's Netherlands vs Uruguay semifinal.

The Men in Orange enter today's Netherlands vs Uruguay semifinal as clear favorites.

For one thing, many of South Africa's Afrikaners will be supporting them, so the match in Cape Town's Green Point Stadium will feel a lot like a home game.

They also beat perennial World Cup favorites, Brazil, in the quarterfinals. Any team that does that immediately rises in the estimation of analysts and oddsmakers.

STORY: Netherlands World Cup team gets Dutch Treat from South Africa's Afrikaners

But here are the top three reasons the Netherlands will beat Uruguay today to advance to the World Cup final:

1) Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder
The Oranje can rely on two of the most dynamic forwards at the World Cup. Arjen Robben’s twisting and turning caused no end of problems for Brazil’s defense in the quarterfinals (and so frustrated Brazil's Felipe Melo that he stamped on him and got sent off), while Wesley Sneijder’s more understated creativity and unexpected heading ability provided both goals. Robben appears to have fully recovered from the hamstring injury that kept him out of the early stages of the tournament and is now demonstrating the trickery that took his club, Bayern Munich, to the European Champions League final. Sneijder, whose Inter Milan side won that final, has also had an outstanding season. Both men will hope to add a World Cup final to their collection.

2) The anti-Suarez factor
The Dutch team will not enjoy the support of the Cape Town crowd because they have played the sort of Total Football that made the Dutch famous in the 1970s. No, they'll enjoy it because of the shameful way Uruguay squeaked past fellow African nation, Ghana, in the quarterfinals. Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez's goal-line handball that denied Ghana victory was bad enough, but his subsequent on-pitch celebration and boasts of making the “best save of the tournament” have left a bad taste in the mouth. Suarez will be suspended for the semifinal but most neutrals would rather he didn’t get the chance for redemption in the final.

3) Mark van Bommel
The flair players may have collected most of the headlines, but this Dutch team is built on the resilience of a defensive midfielder who has diligently broken up opposition attacks throughout the World Cup. Holland’s first four matches may not have provided him with much of a challenge, but the persistence of Mark van Bommel was crucial in the quarterfinal against Brazil. If he can limit the effectiveness of Kaka and Robinho, he will feel confident he can do the same when up against Uruguay's lethal striker, Diego Forlan.

[Correction: The original version stated indicated that Nigel de Jong would be playing against Uruguay, but he will not be able to play due to suspension for the accumulation of yellow cards.]

Don't buy the argument? Read three reasons why Uruguay will beat the Netherlands.

IN PICTURES: Top 12 Goals of the Second Week and Top 10 Goals of the First Week

World Cup 101:

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