The next step for the UFWC en route to the FIFA World Cup sees the defending champions Netherlands square up against UFWC debutantes, Ghana.
The Netherlands have been immensely successful in their reign as UFWC Champions, having earned the title in November 2008 and defended it 13 times in a little over 18 months, retaining the title against formidable opponents such as England, Italy and Mexico. While the Netherlands will be aiming to defend the title and hopefully end up bringing the UFWC title to the World Cup, they will also be hoping for a win to take them above Russia in the all-time UFWC Rankings. Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk today announced their final 23-man squad for the World Cup, so they will be working on fine-tuning the best squad possible.
Ghana unfortunately do not have that luxury, having not played an international match since March. As a result, the Black Stars will likely name an experimental side for this match, and have the misfortune of having Michael Essien unavailable due to injury. This will be Ghana’s first ever match in the UFWC, and they will be hoping to emulate Nigeria, Angola and Zimbabwe, as they endeavour to become only the fourth African side to claim the UFWC title. They, like the Netherlands, have qualified for the World Cup, meaning that this match will tell us nothing as to whether the UFWC title will be brought to the World Cup or not.
Both the Netherlands and Ghana have one more friendly match to play after they face each other, against Hungary and Latvia, neither of whom have qualified for the World Cup. So the question is, who will be the team to try to take the UFWC title to the World Cup, and will they succed or falll at the final hurdle? Hopefully things will become clearer as the World Cup comes nearer…
The odds on who will be champions after this match are: