Brazil tackles the Netherlands on Saturday in a battle of pride as they attempt to atone for an absolutely humiliating performance in their 7-1 loss to Germany last Tuesday night.

The consolation prize seems like an unnecessary battle for third place as both teams come in disappointed and dejected as they play for more pride and a final opportunity to showcase their collective talents. Like the Olympics, the match comes with bronze medals and the difference between 3rd place and 4th place is only $2 Million dollars as the 3rd place winner receives $22 million total.

Regardless of the reasons why the game is played, it allows players to continue competing at the highest level, stats in the game go towards the Golden Ball and Golden Boot trophies respectively, and most importantly, it is one more game that will be watched by hundreds of millions of people therefore equating to dollars for FIFA and advertisers alike.

Brazil comes into the match more compelled to compete for the consolation prize. Brazil had hoped to win their sixth World Cup on home soil this year, but after getting blown out by Germany in the semi-final, the 3rd place prize and opportunity to give their country a reason to celebrate now carries more importance.

Brazil’s coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari knows that his team’s dreams were shattered in the semifinal against Germany, but believes the team still has a lot to play for:

“Now we have to focus on the goal of coming third,” he said. “We know that even a win won’t take away the disappointment, but we have to have objectives. We couldn’t achieve our aim of reaching the final, so now we have to play for a smaller dream.”

Brazil’s Captain Thiago Silva will return from suspension on Saturday and try to shore up a defense that looked amateurish at best against the Germans. “I guarantee that we will play this Saturday’s game like it was the final.” he told reporters on Friday.

Brazil will once again be without their star talisman, Neymar who is out with a fractured vertebra. He did however manage to visit the team on Thursday at their training facility in an attempt to raise his team’s spirits. Neymar who for the most part has been able to eschew the media while he recuperates over the past few days, was seen walking around his home and the pitch on Thursday.

Expect both teams to implement a tremendous amount of lineup changes as each comes in licking their respective wounds. For Brazil, I anticipate Scolari will bench Fred, who was practically booed off the pitch in the loss to Germany, and move Hulk to the striker’s position. I assume Willian will start over Bernard this time around, and don’t be surprised to see, Dani Alves, Maxwell or even a change at goalie after the defensive disaster last Tuesday.

Dutch coach, Louis Van Gaal has publicly stated that he believes the consolation game should not be played. It will be the last game he coaches for the Netherlands before moving on to take over Manchester United. I anticipate Van Gaal will start many of the young up and coming talent for Holland and rest regulars like Robin Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder.

I expect the match to be a lot closer than Brazil’s previous performance against Germany, but the Dutch pose a solid threat on offense and through the midfield. Brazil will once again be playing with a lot more pressure as the match is the last opportunity El Selecao has to send their fans home happy. Holland on the other hand, will only be playing for pride and therefore should play more free and loose than they did against Argentina.

The Netherlands has an opportunity to go undefeated in the FIFA 2014 World Cup an honor that despite not winning the whole thing is still very impressive. They look more talented than Brazil and should be able to find space and expose their weaknesses. As much as I would love to see Brazil end this tournament with a win, they seemed too dejected and emotional after the loss to Germany to get off the mat and defeat a strong Dutch team. Look for the Oranje to get on the board early and send the hosts to their second consecutive loss on home soil.

My Prediction: 2-1 the Netherlands.

Betting Odds Courtesy of

Brazil: Pick Em’ (-165)   //   +110 Moneyline
Netherlands: Pick Em’ (+135)   //   +220 Moneyline
Draw: +280