Preview: Germany VS Holland
Perhaps two of the bitterest rivals in world football will meet in group B during the second round of group games. The second and third favourites for the tournament, Germany and Holland , will play on the 13th of June 2012, 20.45 pm, at the Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv.
This match could prove vital , both teams coming together after disappointing performances that they will want to improve drastically. Although the Germans still claimed the three points against Portugal, the Dutch loss at the hands of Denmark could prove decisive in their progression to the latter stages. With memories of the ’74 world cup final loss still ever present in Dutch minds, and who could forget the famous Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Völler incident ,we could be talking about this fixture for a long time yet. This game then could be seen as almost a semi final, with the winner likely to top the group and avoid the holders, and hot tournament favourites, Spain.
Joachim Löw’s Germany have come on leaps and bounds since he took over from Jürgen Klinsmann in 2006. He has implemented a policy of mixing youth and experience with his motto ‘if they are good enough they are old enough’. The Germans have been unlucky for the last 2 tournaments , meeting a Spanish side widely acclaimed to be the best ever. With the same nucleus of players which starred in the World Cup two years ago and produced such tantalizing counter -attacking football in their 4-1 and 4-0 defeats of England and Argentina, one must again fear a German side that have no apparent weaknesses, with many tipping them to win the tournament. One question ,though, is how well will those Bayern players react after recently losing in the Champions League after having one hand on the trophy?
Having been beaten 3-0 by the Germans as recently as last November confidence within the Dutch camp could be low. However , Bert van Marwijk’s has his men well disciplined for competitive football and come from a World Cup final and an almost perfect qualifying campaign having won their first 9 matches only to be defeated on the last day, although they had already qualified. This recent defeat against the Germans should not affect the Dutch ,as they were without the likes of Van Persie, Robben and Van Der Vaart, however you would understand their reluctance to face the clinical German side, considering the ease with which they put their defence to the sword and after already having dropped points in the group. The game should be mesmerising, with the Dutch having two of the most prolific strikers in Europe in Van Persie and Huntelaar and Germany having Gomez who has been scoring just as prolifically for the German giants Bayern. The Dutch can welcome back Joris Mathijsen after being out injured for the Denmark game, whilst the Germans should have a full strength team although after a disappointing performance last time out, we may see Löw make some changes.
Boateng, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm
Muller, Ozil, Kroos
Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems
N De Jong, Van Bommel
Robben, Sneijder, Afellay