Having beaten World Cup favorite Brazil in the quarterfinals, Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk has warned his players not to take the less illustrious South Americans of Uruguay for granted in the semifinals.
"Uruguay is a strong side and we will have to be very concentrated," he said. "They are fighters, survivors."
Uruguay, ranked 16th in the world, is a two-time World Cup winner, while the fourth-ranked Netherlands is still trying to shake off the tag of two-time loser after talent-packed Dutch teams lost to hosts Germany and Argentina in 1974 and 1978.
Uruguay's players won't accept being called underdogs for tomorrow's match at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium, despite only making the last four thanks to Luis Suarez's hand ball on the line in the dying seconds of extra time in the quarterfinal against Ghana.
"I suppose the press have made the Netherlands favorite. I wouldn't like to say that, it's a World Cup semifinal," captain Diego Lugano said. "The Netherlands and Uruguay play differently but we are at this stage on merit and we'll just have to see what happens in the match."
Van Marwijk and his Uruguay counterpart Oscar Tabarez are both having to fill holes in their starting lineups caused by injuries and suspensions.
Chief among them will be the suspended Suarez, who knows all about scoring against Dutch defences -- he scored 43 times in 39 games for Ajax Amsterdam last season in the Eredivisie.
Full back Jorge Fucile also is suspended after picking up a second yellow card against Ghana, while central defender Diego Godin missed that game with a left thigh problem and remains in doubt.
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano also is fighting to be fit after injuring a right knee ligament against Ghana.
"The risk of pain is the last thing on my mind," Lugano said.