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Friendlies

  • 26 May 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: Fernando Teixeira Vitienes
  • • Attendance: 51000
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Netherlands - Bulgaria Preview: Oranje continue Euro 2012 preparation after defeat to Bayern

Netherlands - Bulgaria Preview: Oranje continue Euro 2012 preparation after defeat to Bayern

Bongarts

Oranje were beaten in the friendly match against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, and will be looking to improve their form in Saturday's encounter at the Amsterdam ArenA

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

NETHERLANDS

Vorm
Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems
Van Bommel, De Jong
Robben, Sneijder, Kuyt
Van Persie
BULGARIA

Kolev
Bodurov, Iliev, Ivanov, Zanev
Gadzhev, Zlatinski
Manolev, Popov, Gargorov
Bojinov


Netherlands will likely be without first-choice goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg due to injury, while Ibrahim Afellay still has club obligations as Barcelona take on Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on Friday.

However, Stijn Schaars has joined the squad after missing out on Tuesday's friendly against Bayern due to the Portuguese Cup final at the weekend.

Bulgaria coach Luboslav Penev will be without injured shot-stopper Nikolay Mihaylov.

Additionally, Iliya Milanov was forced to withdraw due to fitness problems and was replaced in the squad by defender Aleksandar Aleksandrov.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Netherlands and Bulgaria first met on May 13, 1959 in Sofia, when the hosts beat Oranje 3-2.
  • The Dutch recorded a 3-2 win over England in their last friendly game in February.
  • Rafael van der Vaart (pictured) is only seven games away from becoming the fifth player in history to make 100 appearances for Netherlands.

  • Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored the most international goals, 31, from the current Oranje squad.
  • Bulgaria have won four out of their nine games against Netherlands, drawing twice and losing the other three meetings.
  • Wing-back Stanislav Manolev is the only player in the Bulgaria squad who plies his trade in the Dutch top flight, at PSV.
  • The Bulgarians last qualified for a major tournament in 2004, when they lost all their matches in the group stage of the European Championship in Portugal.

Players to watch

R. van Persie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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After Huntelaar started against Bayern Munich, Van Persie is likely to get the nod versus Bulgaria. The Arsenal star has had a fantastic season in the Premier League, yet isn't an undisputed starter at Oranje due to the stiff competition up front. The match at the Amsterdam ArenA is the perfect opportunity for the former Feyenoord attacker to show that he deserves a starting berth in the national team, too.

S. Manolev

Position: Defender

Games: 0

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The PSV wing-back is one of the few big names in Bulgaria's squad for Saturday's friendly, and he'll be determined to show what he can do in the country where he plays his club football. Manolev has not had the best of seasons, but the 26-year-old has shown in the past that he could trouble any opponent with his runs forward down the right wing.

Editor's Prediction

The Oranje might have a rather unimpressive record in friendly games, but the Dutch should be able to beat the Bulgarians on Saturday. The hosts have some of the world's best attackers in their squad, while having plenty of creativity in midfield, too. Bulgaria will struggle to contain the Netherlands at the Amsterdam ArenA, and are likely to return home with a defeat.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Netherlands

Bulgaria

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Netherlands NLD
Netherlands Netherlands
Draw
Bulgaria BGR
Bulgaria Bulgaria
87%

Top 3 Predictions

Netherlands NLD
3 - 0
Bulgaria BGR
Netherlands NLD
2 - 0
Bulgaria BGR
Netherlands NLD
3 - 1
Bulgaria BGR

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