Holland take on Uruguay tonight in the first of the World Cup semi-finals and the bookmakers clearly feel that the Dutch have what it takes to beat the South Americans, making them 4/6 (Ladbrokes) favourites.
Uruguay can be backed at as high as 11/2 with BetFred, but with several key players, including striker Luis Suarez and defender Jorge Fucile missing, they could struggle against the Netherlands.
Fucile missing out is a major blow, particularly as he would have been tasked with containing Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who will be the danger man for his side.
Robben is 6/1 at Ladbrokes to open the scoring, but a better bet is that he is voted man of the match this evening, at 4/1 with Blue Square.
Robben has only started two matches in South Africa, the first of which was against Slovakia in the last 16, where he scored and was voted the best player on the pitch. He then played against Brazil, in a match where he was never likely to see much of the ball and spent more time on the ground, having been felled by Brazilian defenders than he did in possession.
Uruguay may try a similar tactic this evening, but their defence is nowhere near as quick and strong as Brazil’s so they may not be able to catch the Bayern Munich winger in order to foul him.
Robben proved in the Champions League last season that he is a player who can be relied upon in big games and his team-mates will look to him for inspiration. His main challenger for the man of the match award will be Wesley Sneijder (7/2, Blue Square) but his style of play is not as exciting as Robben’s and it would take another two goal performance, with his team-mate drawing a blank, for the Inter Milan playmaker to be chosen ahead of the winger.
Man of the Match – Arjen Robben (4/1, Blue Square)