Today see’s probably the biggest clash of the Euro’s so far. Holland take on Germany in the second round of group B.
Holland go into the game on the back of a defeat to Denmark, while Germany were victorious over Portugal. Holland have to win to have a realistic chance of making the knock stage. For Germany a win will see them seal a spot in the next stage. Both managers have their own issues to deal with before this game.
- Holland manager Bert van Marijk has to made a decision whether to start with two holding midfielders or not. They did create many chances against Denmark but will come up against a stronger opponent in Germany. With their place in the tournament on the line they may have to go for broke. One of Mark van Bommel or Nigel De Jong could make way for either Rafel van Der Vaart or Kevin Stroodman.
- Robin van Persie came in for criticism for his lack of goals against the Danes and there are calls for him to make way for Klaas-Jan Hunterlaar. The Schalke player is seen as a more direct striker and more suited to the traditional Dutch 4-3-3 approach. I would expect van Persie to remain in the line up at the expense of Ibrahim Afellay and should start out wide with the freedom to come in-side.
- There is also another option and that is to drop Robben. He is a player whose actions cause much frustration among fans. He is sometimes portrayed as someone as who is selfish and often over looks team mates in better positions for his own personal glory. He may give way to Kuyt whose industry could offer a bit more balance to a side if van Persie starts on the opposite flank.
- In defense Joris Mathijsen could start instead of Ron Vlaar, he missed the opening match due to injury.
- For Germany they have no injury concerns and may only change personal on the back of performance in the first match. Gomez did score the only goal against Portugal but didn’t contribute much to the side. His work rate was coming in for questioning, most notably from Mehmet Scholl. Klose may get the nod as he offers a bit more movement up front and has a fantastic scoring record for Germany.
- Lukas Podolski and Thomas Muller may feel a little disappointed by some aspects of their play in the Portugal game. Joachim Low will look for better performances from his wide men. If not Mario Gotze or Marco Reus could be in with a shout of starting the game or coming on during the match.
- Matts Hummels looked impressive in the last game but he has hardly tested by Portugals ‘striker’ Postiga. He should keep his spot in defense ahead of Per Mertesacker who has recovered from injury.
- Both sides are known for their attacking play but Germany have shown they can win while not necessarily playing well. It’s a handy aspect of your game to have in a major tournament as it’s hard to play to your maximum potential every match. Germany are still a counter-attacking team even though they’re trying to move away from that kind of perception. But counter attacking could help them against the Dutch who will have to attack and that could feed into the Germans hands.
- On the flip side depending on the result in the game between Denmark and Portugal, Holland may not have to go all out to get a win. If it is a draw in that game a draw between Holland and Germany won’t be the worse result for the Dutch. They could still, in theory, progress. But if the Danes win, Holland will have to win. So much of their mentality will depend on the result of that match.