Second Round
Holland v Portugal
Kick-off 20:00 (BST)

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Portugal will welcome back five players that were rested for their final group game win against Mexico.

Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo Costinha, Nuno Valente and Pauleta are back in place of Cardoso Tiago, Sabrosa Simao and Helder Postiga.

Portugal progressed to the second round by winning all their Group D matches, extending coach Luiz Felipe Scolari’s World Cup winning streak to 10 matches.

“Ten wins at World Cups marks anybody and especially me, because I was there in a rural area of Brazil and I never thought I’d appear at a World Cup,” the Brazilian-born coach said.

Holland were knocked out of Euro 2004 by Portugal but only five players remain from that Dutch side. Portugal midfielder Maniche acknowledged that Holland have been transformed since their last meeting.

“We have been talking about our record against Holland and it is true that statistics are good for Portugal,” stated Maniche.

“But it is a totally different team now and it is also the first time we have played them in the World Cup.

“It is a different Holland to the one we played in Euro 2004 but we hope that by the end of the match to have added to those statistics.”

Holland have lost just one of their last 24 games in all competitions and go into the game having conceded only one goal from the ‘Group of Death’ and only dropping points with the draw against Argentina.

Van Basten may opt to play Dirk Kuyt in place of Ruud van Nistelrooy up front, after a disappointing start to the tournament for the Manchester United striker.

“It is not unreasonable that we expect something more from him,” coach van Basten said.

“We are hoping for more.”

Van Basten looks set to recall Arjen Robben, Mark van Bommel, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Johnny Heitinga to the starting line-up after resting them against Argentina.

The Dutch coach is confident that Holland will be well prepared should the encounter be settled by penalties.

The Dutch were knocked out of the World Cup finals in 1998 and Euro 2000 in penalty shoot-outs.

“It is a very stressful situation and something you must be ready to deal with,” he said.

“Tennis players are already able to serve but you still see them practising again and again. The more you practise, the better you become and if your mind is right, you have an even better chance to get a positive result.”

Van Basten is certainly expecting a difficult encounter in Nuremberg.

“I would rate it as a 50-50 game,” he said.

“We both play with similar styles and we have both done well in the group stage.

“I don’t think you could say who was going to win with any certainty. It really is in the balance.”

Probable teams:
Holland: Ricardo, Miguel, Carvalho, Meira, Valente, Costinha, Maniche, Figo, Deco, Ronaldo, Pauleta.

Portugal: Van der Sar, Boulahrouz, Ooijer, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, Van Bommel, Sneijder, Cocu, Van Persie, Van Nistelrooy, Robben.

Referee: Valentin Ivanov (Russia).

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