Already-qualified Netherlands will be at full strength against out-of-contention Cameroon in their final World Cup Group E match in a bid to avoid a hattrick of early exits after fielding weakened teams.
In the 2006 WC and at Euro 2008 the Dutch qualified after their first two group games. Both times then-coach Marco van Basten rested big names for the final match and in both tournaments they were beaten in the first knockout round.
This time, on six points after wins over Denmark and Japan, there is still top place to play for as a defeat by Cameroon coupled with a healthy win for either of the other sides could relegate them to second place.
Coach Bert van Marwijk is not taking any chances. “I don't plan to make many changes,” he said. “It will be a different story when players are not completely fit and we also have to see when Arjen Robben is ready to play. It could be that he plays Thursday.”
Cameroon have nothing to play for but pride after defeats by Japan and Denmark meant they had got through to the knockout stage only once — in 1990 — in six appearances at the World Cup.