Jamie Redknapp says Brazil's defence will see them through a titanic quarter-final clash with free-flowing Holland.
Last Updated: 02/07/10 11:58am
The World Cup really starts to hot up now - and whenever these two meet it is usually something special.
Both Holland and Brazil have, so far, lived up to expecations and with all due respect to Ghana or Uruguay who play the winners of this, I think it's fair to say a place in the final is up for grabs here.
And to be fair, you wouldn't be disappointed if either of these sides got there, although I have to agree with the odds and say Brazil are the favourites.
They might not be what we are perhaps used to, but I have still enjoyed watching them. They are so efficient, so well-organised and they have the look of a Jose Mourinho side about them.
They still attack like Brazil have always done and with Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano and if fit, Elano in there, you know they are capable of getting goals - and good goals at that. They still have expansive players, it's just that Dunga's priorities are a little different.
I also think another reason they might not have caught the eye is because Kaka has not been at his best. We were all looking at those special players coming into this tournament and as yet, he hasn't quite been as good as we all know he is.
It's not the first time we have seen a player leave AC Milan and struggle, but he has had an up-and-down season at Real Madrid and I think that was hanging over him coming to South Africa. Then of course, he got that freakish sending off against the Ivory Coast, so just hasn't had the chance to get going.
If he does - and he could at any minute - then it's hard to see beyond Brazil as winners. Robinho is playing like a man possessed, Fabiano is scoring goals and they are so, so solid at the back, it is hard to see how anyone is going to score more goals than them.
Lucio is in the form of his life, Juan looks solid alongside him and they have probably the best goalkeeper in the world in Julio Cesar. Stick two holding midfielders in front of them - something that started back in 1994 when Dunga himself was one of those two - and then let those front players go and work their magic and it looks like the perfect blend.
But I suppose if there is one side that has the players to pose them real problems, it is the Dutch.
They are going along very nicely so far. They are scoring goals and they are playing free-flowing football as well. We have had glimpses of the total football we all want to see, but a bit like Brazil, they are getting the job done.
The only thing we are waiting for is them to fall-out. I was joking with Ruud Gullit the other day that it's about this time that something goes wrong in their camp and it all falls apart! But so far, they look like a happy camp.
Wesley Sneijder has come bouncing into these finals off that back of that Champions League win, Arjen Robben is back from injury and has already showed what he is capable of, and I just love Robin van Persie, I really do. This is a player that can stand toe-to-toe with the best in the world, I really do think that.
He can glide past players, he can pick a pass and he can score goals. We haven't seen him at his best in front of goal yet in South Africa, but if he, Sneijder and Robben can click, they are perhaps the one side that have the attacking players to threaten Brazil.
The one worry for Holland is their backline - and going up against Brazil's it could well be the deciding factor here. The other day Slovakia got through them a little easy and although the keeper Maarten Stekelenburg is not the problem we were led to believe, I just don't fancy their defenders to cope with Brazil's flair players as well as their defence will deal with the Dutch.
And I do think that mentally, the Dutch will start on the back foot. They do not have the best record in big, big games and let's face it, when you see those yellow shirts and blue shorts, you can't help but be intimidated.
Brazil win - If the Dutch get into their stride and if that front three click then they do have the players to give Lucio and Juan a real headache and don't forget they've got Robben flying down that right against Michel Bastos who is a winger at Lyon. But I expect the Brazilians to do what they've done so far and keep it tight, then let those forward players go and do their thing. I'd back 2-1 here.
Kaka - Like so many people I was really hoping we would see the very best of him in South Africa, but so far that hasn't happened. The sending off was just ridiculous, but there have been one or two signs of what we know he is capable of. If they can get him on the ball running at people and making those precise passes, then Brazil will be even more frightening. I'll go for 2.1