Must-win for Dutch against favourites Germany

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Faultery Dutch clash against Germany
Kharkiv, Jun 12: The Netherlands will look to down their neighbours and fierce rivals Germany in their crucial Euro 2012 Group B match at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv.

The 'Oranje' have no option but to defeat the Germans to survive or face an early exit after losing their opening match against Denmark.

Group B of the ongoing tournament has been famously tagged by many as 'The Group of Death' but for the Dutch it has been more like 'Group of Hell' after their shocking defeat to the Danes.

However, the Germans will be more calm and composed after securing three points against Portugal.

Little comparison can be made between the two European giants. Both teams boast a galaxy of stars but the three time European champions and former World Champions Germany have the advantage over the 'goal-shy' Holland.

Unlike the political rivalry between Poland and Russia, battles between the 'Oranje' and the 'Mannschaft' have been restricted to the field of play.

Manager Bert van Marwijk defended the selection of Premier League's top-scorer Robin van Persie ahead of top-scorer in qualifying Klass Jon Huntelaar. Despite testing the Danish defends 28 times only five attempts hit the target with Van Persie and Robben closer to score.

On the Other hand, Joachim Lowe benched their second all time goal-scorer Miroslav Klose but was satisfied after Gomez clinched the winner despite being frustrated by the Iberians.

Maintaining possession, accurate passing and aggressive pressing remains key in midfield as both teams consist the world's best play-makers, midfielders and holding players. The much-awaited clash will witness Germany's most impressive player Mesut Ozil battle it out with Holland's forward cum winger Arjen Robben.

Playing against the Germans, the Bayern Munich player Robben will clash against seven club mates but Lowe's men will be well aware of the Dutch winger-cum-forward movements on the right channel.

A showdown is expected between two of the best attacking midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Wesley Sniejder. Both move ahead with similar pace and their ability to switch play to either flanks is impeccable.

Though Germany survived with a solitary goal from Gomez they are not short of attacking options upfront while the Dutch too have a lethal attacking line-up with Van Persie, Robben, Afellay, Huntelaar and so on.

But the 'Oranje' need reinforcements in their back-line after being tested by the Danes. The German defence had its share of panic attacks but managed to keep out Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.

Van Marwijk has a major decision to choose between Van Persie and Huntelaar while Lowe will decide whether the first match hero Gomez will keep his place in the playing XI or not.

Managers have been opting for a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 encouraging players to move forward and adapt to the attacking philosophy. The Germans will perhaps stick to their same formation while the Dutch will be vary of the 'Mannschaft' attacking strengths and probably opt for clever tactics.

However, both teams will rely on their midfield strength and strike force to down each other.


Netherlands: Stekelenburg-Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Bouma, Willems-De Jong, Van Bommel-Robben, Sneijder, Afellay-Van Persie.

Germany: Neuer-Boateng, Haummels, Badstuber, Lahm-Khedira, Schweinsteiger-Muller, Ozil, Podolski-Gomez.

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