“We have to win (the remaining two games). We have no other choice.” -Mark Van Bommel
There is no disagreeing with the Dutch captain, they need to win, it’s that simple. A tie might give them a little hope, a loss is out of the question, they need a win. After a devastating loss against Denmark a couple of days ago, the Dutch will play against Germany at the Metalist Stadium in Kharviv, Ukraine. Doubt had risen over the team after Robin Van Persie was chosen to start up front against Denmark instead of the Bundesliga top-scorer, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Van Persie had a bad game, so the easy fix would be to start Huntelaar, right?
It may not be that easy, according to reports Huntelaar was furious when not chosen and was the only player to not show up to a press conference yesterday to talk about the upcoming match against Germany. Given the infamous history of the national team having animosity during major tournaments and recent rumors stating that “cliques” and “rifts” have troubled the squad, a team implosion would not seem out of the question.
That being said, the team might have had a fluke game against Denmark. In Euro 1988, they also lost their first game and had a striker debate, but ended up winning the whole tournament. If you’re a superstitious fan, this might give you hope. Superstitions aside, optimists would point out that they actually had a great game with unlucky finishing against the Danes. Their passes were great, they had most of the possession and were constantly attacking. Another thing to consider is their goals, I hate to look into the past but during Euro qualifying, they had 37 goals. 37 goals in just 10 games. I would be hard-pressed to assume that they will not be a threat during these next two games.
The Germans on the other hand, are feeling pretty lucky. Coming off a 1-0 win against Portugal, Philipp Lahm and company know they just need one more win to have a good chance of qualifying for the next round. Even EA sports just stated that Germany will win the whole tournament. I mean, who else are we left to trust after “Yvonne” the cow predicted that Portugal would win against Germany?
Although the Germans didn’t play to their fullest, they are stacked with talent that will definitely show against Holland. Thomas Muller, Lukas Podolski, and yes, even Mario Gomez provide enormous talent for the German offense. The Dutch are going to have a hard time defending against said offense. Even with Heitinga and Mathijsen in the back, I doubt they will be able to control the likes of Ozil and friends up top. As for the squad in general, reports have come out stating that head coach Joachim Low has looked the other way when players have partaken in after-game pints and cigarette breaks, but this should not be too much trouble. The only serious incident that had arisen was Boateng’s rendezvous with an ex-playboy playmate right before the Euro’s had started. Yikes.
In their last meeting, the Germans beat the Dutch 3-0 last October. With vastly different lineups, German team manager Oliver Bierhoff has told reporters that it will be much more difficult for the side to record a similar score. What will remain similar though, is a win for Germany. The Dutch offense may not completely compensate for the inconsistent back line they are fielding. Especially when said offense is not able to score. The Germans have too much talent up top and will also be able to stop most attempts in the back with Badstuber and Hummels keeping guard. It’s going to be a close game, but the Germans will win in the end.
Germany 2-1 Netherlands