They have suffered long against rivals Germany, but the Netherlands are now favoured to finally break through when the two nations meet among a host of friendlies on Wednesday
|By PAUL GOUGH
The Netherlands are fancied to score their first win against a weakened Germany when the two fierce rivals clash in the standout international friendly among a host of matches being played across the globe on Wednesday.
Not even the absence of superstar striker Robin Van Persie with a thigh injury has prevented punters from getting behind the Oranje to end their hoodoo.
The Netherlands, whose last win against Germany was in a friendly in 2002, are the $2.58 favourites to win the match with Betfair, with the visitors paying $2.92 and the draw at $3.60.
However, all three options are good value at Betfair compared to elsewhere, with the hosts $2.45 favourites at Centrebet and $2.50 at sportsbet.com.au.
The draw is at $3.20 and $3.40 respectively, with Germany priced at $2.55 at Centrebet and $2.70 at sportsbet.com.au.
Germany have not lost to the Dutch in any of their past four meetings, including during the group stages of Euro 2012.
But while the Netherlands will be without Van Persie and Wesley Sneijder for the clash in Amsterdam, Germany will be without key players Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Jerome Boateng, Miroslav Klose, Mesut Ozil, Marcel Schmelzer and star striker Mario Gomez - scorer both Die Mannschaft's goals in that 2-1 win over the Oranje at Euro 2012 - due to injury or illness.
So the Netherlands look good value to finally chalk up a win against Germany, while in-form striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar is nicely priced to score the first goal of the game at $6.50 at sportsbet.com.au.
|The Netherlands to win v Germany at $2.58 at Betfair
||England and Sweden to draw at $3.35 at Betfair|
The other key friendlies on Wednesday see Italy host France and Sweden clash with England for the third time in 12 months, this time in Stockholm.
Italy and France, who famously met in the finals of Euro 2000 [won by the latter] and the 2006 World Cup [won by the former], will meet for the first time since the group stages of Euro 2008 - a match won by the Azzurri 2-0.
And Italy are clear favourites to win again in Parma at $2.30 with Betfair, with France paying $3.50 and the draw $3.30.
In Sweden, the highlight will be captain Steven Gerrard becoming only the sixth player to reach 100 appearances for England following on from Peter Shilton, David Beckham, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton and Billy Wright.
But Gerrard will lead a young squad to Sweden, with manager Roy Hodgson using the friendly as a chance to test out some youngsters naming seven uncapped players in the squad of 21.
As a result, Sweden are the $2.64 favourites with Betfair to win at home - despite losing to England in a friendly at Wembley last November as well as going down 3-2 in the group stages of Euro 2012 - with the Three Lions at $3 and the draw attractively priced at $3.35.
*Note prices subject to change