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Netherlands V Germany : UEFA Euro 2012 Match Preview
Published : 13 Jun 2012 16:36:06Rss feed
Do-or-die Dutch out to down Germany
Holland take on Germany in Wednesday's Group B key clash in Kharkiv knowing another defeat will all but point the World Cup finalists towards an early exit from following their shock loss to Denmark.
In one of the key matches of the group stages, the Dutch have to pick themselves up after Saturday's 1-0 defeat to the Danes as Michael Krohn-Dehli's first-half strike decided the match.
Bert van Marwijk's team now have to beat both Germany at Kharkiv's Metalist Stadium, then Portugal on Sunday to be sure of qualifying from the pool, which has been dubbed 'The Group of Death'.
"We have to win (the remaining two games). We have no other choice," said Dutch captain Mark van Bommel.
After wasting a string of chances against Denmark, the mis-firing Dutch have vowed to put that right in what promises to be a heated contest with daytime temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius (91 Fahrenheit) forecast in Kharkiv.
"The only positive thing we can take out of the defeat is that we created lots of chances," said midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who has endured an injury ravaged season at Inter Milan.
Both sides are expected to be at full strength, though, whether van Marwijk keeps faith with Robin van Persie up front or gives way to public opinion and starts with Bundesliga top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar will be interesting.
While the Dutch will be fighting for survival, Germany arrive in Ukraine knowing another win will put them in the quarter-finals following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Portugal.
"The Netherlands now have their backs to the wall and they have to play to win," said Germany coach Joachim Loew.
"This will make the game a bit more explosive and more difficult for us than we had already expected."
Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels added: "The Dutch are practically obliged to win, they will play at their best and invest everything they have got," said Hummels.
"Anything but a win could mean their tournament exit so it is already their final, way before the actual final.
Germany beat Holland 3-0 in a friendly in Hamburg last November, but Hummels has warned eager fans not to expect the same dominant display against a Dutch side full of class and under pressure.
"In terms of the result, we can't possibly believe we will win as easily as we did. They have tremendous fire-power up front," he said,
"We have to ensure they don't get into a position where they are close to finishing, but world-class players need very few chances to score."
The history of the rivalry
Netherlands V Germany - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.
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