The game of the Euro 2012 group phase takes place on Wednesday night as bitter rivals Netherlands face Germany knowing defeat will see them packing their bags before their final group game.
Defeat to Denmark has left Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk to ponder how he should approach the match against many people’s favourites. Often tending to opt for pragmatism in favour of total football, can the Oranje find the right formula?
Germany weren't exactly impressive against the Portuguese but they can be expected to grow into the tournament, and the possibility of knocking out one of their biggest rivals on paper is one they'll surely relish.
However, it is worth noting that their record in second-round group fixtures over the last few years is extremely poor. They lost to Serbia at the last World Cup, while they also lost to Croatia in their second match of Euro 2008. They've also failed to beat Ireland, Latvia and England at this stage of recent international competitions, which is most off-putting.
We’d expect to see the Netherlands to be quick out of the blocks – they simply cannot afford to be cagey with so much at stake and this should hopefully also lead to an entertaining and absorbing goal-heavy fixture.
We’ve highlighted the Dutch’s defensive problems before and having been cut down to size in a 3-0 friendly defeat to Germany in November 2011 and with the Germans counter-attacking ability, you’d be forgiven for having a dabble on Germany taking maximum points.
Germany are simply a superior outfit and a price of 6/4 looks worth taking – they should be around the 11/8 or 13/10 mark but we’ll take Over 2.5 Goals as our selection, at even-money with Ladbrokes.
Key trends –
- Netherlands haven’t beaten Germany since 2002, when Patrick Kluivert, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Ruud van Nistelrooy all scored in a 3-1 win.
- Germany have found the net in 95% of their last 20 games.
- Arjen Robben is the last Netherlands player to score against Germany – he bagged a brace in a 2-2 draw in 2005.