GROUP E: Can the potential of the Dutch finally come to fruition in 2010?

Holland always look good on paper but rarely do they deliver on the world stage.

In recent World Cups, they have had mixed fortunes but they are results that don’t reflect the amount of talent they possess in their squad.

In 2006 they were out in the second round after losing to Portugal, in 2002 they failed to qualify, in 1998 they finished fourth and the two tournaments before that yielded a quarter-finals berth and another Round of 16 exit.

Before every major tournament, the Dutch are spoken in the same sentence as the favourites of the particular competition but never back up that faith that the media and the public seem to have in them.

2010, as it is for all 32 nations, could be the year for Holland if they can have all key players firing at the same time but much relies on the form of their attackers.

Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Rafael van der Vaart are the key men for the Oranje and if on song will be dangerous for any opponent, regardless of who it is.

They are tipped to top Group E, and should do without too much fuss, but it is the phases after that where the Netherlands players seem to get stage fright.

Holland

Playing schedule: Denmark (Johannesburg) June 14; Japan (Durban) June 19; Cameroon (Cape Town) June 24

Also known as: The Oranje
Manager: Bert van Marwijk (NED)
Captain: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Key players: Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder
Wildcard: Eljero Elia
Player to watch: Rafael van der Vaart
Most caps: Edwin van der Sar (130). Of this squad: Giovanni van Bronckhorst (99)
Top goalscorer: Patrick Kluivert (40). Of this squad: Robin van Persie (18)
FIFA ranking: 4
Qualifying: Top in UEFA group stage.
Appearance: 9th
Best result: Runners-Up – 1974 & 1978

Holland squad

Goalkeepers

Sander Boschker (FC Twente)
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht)

Defenders

Khalid Boulahrouz (Stuttgart)
Edson Braafheid (Celtic)
John Heitinga (Everton)
Joris Mathijsen (Hamburg)
Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven)
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord)
Gregory van der Wiel (Ajax)

Midfielders

Ibrahim Afellay (PSV Eindhoven)
Nigel de Jong (Manchester City)
Demy de Zeeuw (Ajax)
Stijn Schaars (AZ Alkmaar)
Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
Mark van Bommel (Bayern Munich)
Rafael van der Vaart (Real Madrid)

Forwards

Ryan Babel (Liverpool)
Eljero Elia (Hamburg)
Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AC Milan)
Dirk Kuyt (Liverpool)
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
Robin van Persie (Arsenal)

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http://www.worldcup.tribalfootball.com/page/Home/0,,12952,00.html

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