Netherlands and Denmark meet in a group of death clash on Saturday, June 9, 2012, in a match that the Dutch are favoured to win. The world cup runners up pack too many guns for their Western European neighbours and that was reflected in the form they displayed in the Euro qualifiers. However, Holland will be wary of the dangerous Danes as they seek to top Group B, which also has Germany and Portugal. the sides last met at the FIFA world Cup in 2010; Holland prevailed 2-0 on that occasion. Heading into Saturday’s game, the Dutch vanquished Northern Ireland 6-0 in a warm up, while Denmark also tasted success by beating Australia.
Wesley Sneijder who provides the crucial link between midfield and the forward line is likely to be key to Holland’s fortunes on Friday. Van Persie is likely to lead the attack with additional support from Robben and Afellay, in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Holland have an embarrassment of riches in attack with Huntelaar likely to run van Persie close for a place in the first eleven. The only weak area in an otherwise great squad is in its back line with Mathijsen in central defence edging close to his sell-by date. The Dutch will also be hurt by the absence through injury of left-back Eric Pieters, who is likely to be replaced by teenager Jetro Willems.
Morten Olsen’s wards are ranked 10th in the world and but for being drawn in the group of death should have been favoured to go far in the tournament. The Danes have a fine blend of youth and experience and 20-year old Christian Eriksen will be the cynosure of attention in a playmaking role. The Ajax midfielder can rival Sneijder with his effectiveness with both feet. However, Denmark are found wanting in attack with striker Nicolas Bendtner’s poor finishing unlikely to cause nightmares to any international back line.
The back line led by Daniel Agger will also be asked a few questions by the rampant Holland attack to which they could fail to find convincing answers.
Holland’s probable eleven: Stekelenburg, Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems, Van Bommel, De Jong, Robben, Sneijder, Afellay, Van Persie.
Denmark’s probable eleven: Andersen, Jacobsen, Agger, Kjaer, Poulsen, Zimling, Kvist, Eriksen, Rommedahl, Krohn-Dehli, Bendtner.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.