Pre-game: Netherlands vs. Denmark

The Netherlands looks to prove that it is the clear favourite in Group E, meeting Denmark in its first match of the World Cup in Johannesburg on Monday (CBC, 7am ET).

Day 4, Match 1

Netherlands vs. Denmark, Group E

Date and Location

June 14, Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg

Broadcast details

Live on CBC and (7 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.

Rogers Pre-game Show

Watch the Rogers Pre-game show 30 minutes before kick-off as our panel of soccer experts provide up-to-the-minute news from South Africa on this match.

To watch the show, CLICK HERE

What's at stake

The Netherlands is flying into the World Cup after a brilliant qualifying campaign, and will be keen to serve notice in the opener that it is the clear favourite in Group E. If Denmark picks up points here, it will put the side in fantastic shape to advance.

Injuries and suspensions

Denmark centre-back Simon Kjaer, forward Nicklas Bendtner and goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen have been battling recent injuries. Dutch winger Arjen Robben is questionable with a hamstring injury

Player to watch for the Netherlands

Robin van Persie — The Arsenal virtuoso has pace and power that rivals any in the world (See: Champions League 2009), and has scored nine goals and logged seven assists in 16 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season. But what's worrisome for the Dutch is his injury troubles heading into the tournament.

Player to watch for Denmark

Nicklas Bendtner — Denmark's most dangerous striker will be the focal point of an admittedly-thin Danish attack, as he potted three goals in qualifying — including the game-winner against Portugal, which helped Denmark top its qualifying group. An ankle injury might hamper his effectiveness.

Key matchup

Robin van Persie vs. Daniel Agger — With young centre-back Simon Kjaer and starting keeper Thomas Sorensen both facing injury trouble, it might fall to Agger to contain one of the most dangerous strikers of the tournament. And please don't mention Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder, who can swoop into the attack at any point.

Dutch perspective

"I will do all I can to get fit in time. I am very hopeful and now we have to see how we can speed up the process." — winger Arjen Robben

Danish perspective

"Holland haven't played [in South Africa] yet, so they may get something of a culture shock — unless, of course, they are so good technically that they don't need to hit a long ball." — midfielder Martin Jorgensen

World Cup head-to-head

This will be the two sides' first meeting at a World Cup.

All time head-to-head

  • Games played: 27
  • Netherlands: 11 wins, 6 losses, 10 draws
  • Denmark: 6 wins, 11 losses, 10 draws
  • Goals: Netherlands 55, Denmark 36
  • One to remember: Denmark's surprise Euro '92 win included eliminating the defending champion Dutch side in a fantastic semifinal encounter. Denmark conceded a 2-1 lead in the 86th minute, but won on penalties as Peter Schmeichel stopped Marco Van Basten to send the Danes through. Denmark went on to beat reigning world champions Germany.