Germany and Holland face off at Kharkiv on Wednesday, June 13, in what is a must-win for Holland. The Dutch are coming off a wasteful 1-0 loss against Denmark, after they felled to convert infinite scoring opportunities in a match in which they had ball possession for the most part.
Germany, by contrast, scraped out a win against a tough Portugal side on the back of headed goal by Mario Gomez who rewarded coach Joachim Loew’s faith in the striker. Loew will want to see a more effective midfield against the Dutch after the likes of Ozil, Scweinsteiger and Mueller were rendered ineffective by the Portuguese. But the Dutch back line is little more porous and the German forward line will lick its collective lips in anticipation.
Holland had 29 shots on goal against Denmark with just six on target, which sums up the profligacy of the Dutch in a match they should have win in a canter. while the Dutch back line is young and inexperienced their line up comprising the likes of Van Persie, Afellay, Van der Vaart, Van Bommel, Sneijder and Arjen Robben failed to fulfill their potential up field.
Against Germany, the Dutch back line marshaled by Ron Vlaar and Jetro Willems will have their hands full against the likes of Muller and Gomez. Heitinga, in central defence, will have to lead by example, while Nigel de Jong in defensive midfield will have his work cut out.
Though there’s a strong case for Huntelaar to replace the wasteful Van Persie in the spearhead of attack, the Arsenal striker could still be preferred by coach Bert van Marwijk. Sneijder was the solitary player to give a brilliant account of himself against the Danes but he suffered for want of support from the men up front and Holland will seek to rectify that shortcoming against a German side who can give as good as they get.
Having got a win under their belt in their opener against Portugal, the Germans hold the edge ahead of Wednesday’s game. In particular, the Germans have a settled back line that will allow them to employ the tactic of drawing the Dutch forward, and hitting back on the counter.
Germany’s probable eleven: Neuer, Badstuber, Hummels, Lahm, Boateng, Schweinsteiger, Khedra, Podolski, Muller, Gomez, Ozil.
Holland’s probable eleven: Stekelenburg, Vlaar, Heitinga, Willems, Van der Wiel, De Jong, Van Bommel, Afellay, Robben, van Persie, Sneijder.
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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.