Socceroo has inside knowledge of Netherlands

JASON Davidson plays for Heracle in the Dutch first division, so he knows a lot about the Socceroos next World Cup opponents, The Netherlands.

The Dutch have never beaten Australia in a competitive game and left-back Davidson, whose father Alan also played for the Socceroos, said the team could take some confidence from that.

He added, however, the Socceroos could not afford to start as they did against Chile- conceding two goals inside 12 minutes - if they were to stand a chance against Robin van Persie and Co Thursday morning in Porto Alegre (2am AEST).

"I'm excited. It's a big challenge for me. Hopefully we can keep that record against Holland," Davidson said.

"We have to make sure from kick-off that we prepare and don't give them any chances early," said the Heracles defender.

"Against Chile we didn't have enough time to recover so we have to make sure we don't repeat that same mistake.

"It was a big stage and we showed too much respect to Chile, they were flying, moving everywhere.

"They punished us but they used a lot of energy in the first 20 minutes, as the game went by we started to come back into the game."

The Socceroos will not find it easy against Louis van Gaal's side, especially after the Dutch demolished reigning champion Spain 5-1 in its first game in Group B.

Defeat would almost certainly mean that the Socceroos would be heading home whatever the result in their last group game against Spain.

Ange Postecoglou's side acquitted themselves well against Chile but despite all the pressure could not come up with the desired result.

It won't get any easier at Estadio Beira-Rio with a defence, shorn of the experience of the injured Ivan Franjic, set to be tested to the max against the likes of van Persie and Arjen Robben.

Australia seems set to sit deeper and defend in greater numbers than Spain with Ryan McGowan likely to replace Franjic on the right flank.

If McGowan does play, his combination with Matthew Leckie could prove crucial with Robben sure to target whoever comes in on the right side of degfence.

A victory for the Netherlands will set them well on course for round of 16, while another respectable defeat will be treated as something of a moral victory for Australia, given their inexperience and daunting opponents.

Topics:  soccer socceroos world cup 2014

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