Netherlands - Northern Ireland Preview: Oranje aiming to end Euro 2012 preparations on a high
The 2010 World Cup finalists beat Slovakia in midweek after two previous defeats, and will be looking to further boost their confidence on Saturday
By Stefan Coerts
Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Vlaar, Willems
Van Bommel, De Jong
Robben, Van der Vaart, Afellay
Hodson, Duff, McArdle, McGivern
McCann, C. Evans, Clingan, McCourt
Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk will be without the services of Joris Mathijsen due to a hamstring injury, while both Wilfred Bouma and Wesley Sneijder are doubtful after picking up knocks in the win over Slovakia.
Therefore, Ron Vlaar and Rafael van der Vaart could feature from the start, as Van Marwijk is expected to field his strongest XI in Oranje's last warm-up game.
The guests will be without Steve Davis, Jonny Evans,Chris Brunt, Kyle Lafferty and Dean Shiels due to injury in Saturday's encounter.
Additionally, Aaron Hughes has family commitments, while Gareth McAuley has wedding commitments.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Netherlands and Northern Ireland have met five times to date. Holland have won twice, recorded two draws, and been beaten once.
- The Dutch beat Slovakia 2-0 in their last friendly game courtesy of an own goal and a Rafael van der Vaart strike.
- Left-back Jetro Willems (pictured) will be the youngest player at Euro 2012. The 18-year-old defender made his official Holland debut in the friendly loss versus Bulgaria
- Northern Ireland last beat the Dutch on March 17, 1965, when they recorded a 2-1 win at Windsor Park.
- Rangers striker David Healy is his country's all-time top-scorer with 35 goals in 92 appearances.
- Manager Michael O'Neill has called up four players for the first time: James McPake, Rory Donnelly, Daniel Lafferty and William Grigg could all make their debut on Saturday.
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Top 3 Predictions
Netherlands 3-0 Northern Ireland
- 18.77 %
Netherlands 3-1 Northern Ireland
- 12.3 %
Netherlands 2-0 Northern Ireland
- 12.3 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||2 Jun 2012||Netherlands 6 - Northern Ireland 0|
|26 Mar 2013||Netherlands 4 - Romania 0||WCQE|
|22 Mar 2013||Netherlands 3 - Estonia 0||WCQE|
|6 Feb 2013||Netherlands 1 - Italy 1||FR|
|14 Nov 2012||Netherlands 0 - Germany 0||FR|
|16 Oct 2012||Romania 1 - Netherlands 4||WCQE|
|Returns:||Netherlands £11.25||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||Draw £560.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Northern Ireland £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|-||Gregory van der Wiel|
|-||Mark van Bommel|
|-||Nigel De Jong|
|16||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|23||Rafael van der Vaart||Midfielder|
The Barcelona winger impressed against Slovakia in midweek in his first international appearance since his comeback from injury, and Afellay will be keen to put in another strong display against Northern Ireland. The versatile attacker adds much needed width and creativity to Holland, and his direct opponent on Saturday could be in for a difficult evening.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper is one of the few relatively big names in the Northern Ireland squad, and the 34-year-old probably awaits a busy evening in Amsterdam. The Dutch attackers have plenty of quality, and will be looking to test Carroll on every possible occasion as they're aiming to end their Euro 2012 preparations on a high.
After uninspiring performances against Bayern Munich and Bulgaria, Netherlands returned to winning ways against Slovakia on Wednesday, and they'll be determined to further boost confidence with a win over Northern Ireland at the Amsterdam ArenA. Oranje have a superior squad to their opponents and the individual quality of players such as Afellay, Robben and Van Persie should prove to be too much for the guests.
Times In GMT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed