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Netherlands vs Germany: Euro 2012 Preview and Prediction
Published by William | Filed under Euro 2012, Germany, Netherlands, Predictions, Previews
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6/13 20:45 CET Netherlands vs Germany – Odds | Stats
The Group of Death returns to action in Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv with a classic encounter of neighbors and European juggernauts Netherlands and Germany. With FIFA second and third ranked teams in the world, we cannot ask for a higher anticipated group fixture. With a 1-0 loss to Denmark, the Dutch have put themselves in a situation where they must win. While Germany is in the driver’s seat, nothing in international football is assured. The German defense will have to be ready for an all out Dutch attack that ensures a fun to watch match for the fans.
Netherlands find themselves in a do or die situation after their 1-0 loss to Denmark. A loss against Germany is out of the question, so Holland will look to their strengths and play attacking football. Manager Bert van Marwijk will look to give the Dutch another option up front and may employ substitutes Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Tottenham’s Van der Vaart sooner than expected. Against Denmark, the Orange simply wasted too many opportunities. Robin Van Persie’s touch was off while Arjen Robben was too selfish in the Dutch attack. Too often Robben chose to shoot where he could have layed it off to Van Persie, a proven finisher.
Choosing to go with an untested Ibrahim Afellay proved to be costly for the Dutch. The Barcelona youngster is certainly talented but sees more of the bench than the field at club level. Both striker options Van Persie and Huntelaar were top scorers in their respective leagues and cannot be left on the bench. Huntelaar by the way, should have granted the Dutch with a penalty. Look for Van Persie to assume a wider position and take players on from the left wing. At the other end of the pitch, goalkeeping and defending have to do better against Germany and Portugal for Netherlands to have a chance at the quarterfinals. Otherwise, they will have to score three to four goals per game.
While Germany was no where near convincing in their opening win against Portugal, they still found a way to score. That makes this German team more dangerous than ever. Germany knows a win against Netherlands will be enough to send them through to the knockout stages. But, with three points, Ze Germans can concentrate on defending the Dutch goalscorers. Manager Joachim Loew will not grant Robben the space to cut in from the right and will be weary of Van Persie’s runs through the back line.
Mario Gomez was the hero in the Portugal game, scoring the winning header to solidify his starting role at striker. Nonetheless, Loew knows he has another option in an equally threatening and longtime goalscorer Miroslav Klose. Defender Mats Hummels had an impressive opener that warranted Loew’s decision to start the Borussia Dortmund 23 year old over a more experienced Per Mertesacker. No changes in the midfield however. Mezut Ozil, Thomas Muller, and Bastian Schweinsteiger will continue to lead one of the strongest mid-fields of the world.
If somehow both teams advance to the knockout stages, there is a chance that they will meet again in the final. This game not only serves as a means of advancing but as a confidence boost for later in the tournament. Germany beat the Netherlands 3-0 in a friendly in Hamburg last November, but don’t expect a similar showing as the Dutch have their backs to the wall. Robben will try to erase his poor start to the Euros, but the German defense knows his strengths all to well. The last time these two European powerhouses met in an international tournament was in the 2004 Euro Group stages where they drew one to one. Look for a similar scoreline in Kharkiv.
Netherlands 1 – 1 Germany
June 12th, 2012