The Dutch have been a football nation of underachievers since they reached back-to-back FIFA World Cup finals in 1974 and 1978. And while Uruguay have won the trophy twice, in 1930 and 1950, Tabarez said: "The Dutch side will feel the burden of expectation far more than us. No-one really believes in us and the possibility we might win.
"We have to enjoy the World Cup and the match, make the most of it, because we know millions will be watching these players. This is a challenge, but also a reason for great happiness."
The Netherlands won all eight of their qualifying matches and have a 100 per cent record in five matches in South Africa, including knocking out Brazil 2-1 in the quarter-final. Tabarez believes the key to his team's success is keeping Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben under control.
"He's a great footballer," said Tabarez. "He's very fast, very nimble, very long strides. When he shifts his body, it's difficult to react. With Robben back, this Holland side benefits greatly. They were already very good without him, but now they have him contributing as well."
Tabarez admits Uruguay have not played brilliantly at this FIFA World Cup but still dreams of the South Americans returning to former glories, even if they are hampered by the attraction of Europe's money-laden leagues.
"We have a long way to go," he said. "The world nowadays is very different to that in the first half of the 20th century, when Uruguay hardly lost a match. The gap is widening more and more between the first and the third world. There is increasing independence of players going to Europe to earn their trade and that weakens our football. It would be a dream to become a footballing power again, but the world hasn't changed because we've won a few matches."