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Van Gaal pondering change of system for Australia

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 15, 2014 at 5:02 pm •  Published: June 15, 2014
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RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal is pondering the big question ahead of his team's next match against Australia: should he tinker with a winning formula?

Van Gaal's decision to play a system based on five defenders against Spain was a tactical masterstroke as the Dutch humiliated the defending world champion 5-1 in Salvador in their Group B opener.

Preparing for the World Cup, Van Gaal hinted he might revert to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 system against an Australian team whose defense can be tough to break down. The Netherlands also played a 4-4-2 formation in a tune-up match against Wales, a decision based on how Van Gaal believes Australia will play when they meet Wednesday in Porto Alegre.

So which is it going to be?

Midfield playmaker Wesley Sneijder, for one, comes from the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" school.

"I would say 5-3-2 to continue building for the rest of the tournament," he told the official Netherlands supporters' site OnsOranje.nl.

If players already know which system they will play, they weren't letting on after training Sunday.

"Ask the coach," Daley Blind told reporters. "We're preparing well for the match against Australia and we'll hear it from the coach."

The coach didn't talk to the media Sunday and the training session at the Dutch camp gave no clues.

Blind trained apart from the main group, saying he has a minor knee irritation, but stressing that he is fit to play Wednesday.

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