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European Championship

  • 9 June 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist, Kharkiv
  • Referee: D. Skomina
  • • Attendance: 35923

Netherlands - Denmark Preview: Oranje eye winning start in Euro 2012 Group of Death

The Dutch and the Danes face off for the second major tournament running, with Bert van Marwijk's side hoping to repeat the result of their 2010 World Cup opener



Van der Wiel, Heitinga, Bouma, Willems
De Jong, Van Bommel
Robben, Sneijder, Afellay
Van Persie

Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, S Poulsen
C Poulsen, Kvist
Rommedahl, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli

Netherlands defender Joris Mathijsen is unlikely to recover from his hamstring injury in time for Saturday's Group B encounter with Denmark in Kharkiv.

PSV's Wilfred Bouma, who played his last competitive game for the Dutch during the previous Euro finals in 2008, could get the nod in central defence over Ron Vlaar owing to his greater experience at international level.

Robin van Persie is set to start ahead of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to spearhead Bert van Marwijk's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Denmark, the 1992 champions, lost midfielder Niki Zimling during their final traiining session on Friday and are liekly to bring in veteran Christian Pulsen to replace him. Otherwise coach Morten Olsen will name the same team that beat Australia 2-0 in a pre-tournament friendly in Copenhagen.

Nicklas Bendtner will start in the lone striking role, with support from Ajax starlet Christian Eriksen.

  • The Netherlands have won just three of their last seven official matches (W3, D1, L3).
  • The last meeting between the Dutch and the Danes came in their opening game at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which the Oranje won 2-0.
  • The Netherlands were the most prolific side in the qualifying phase, netting 37 goals in their 10 games with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (12) topping the goalscoring charts.
  • If he plays, Jetro Willems (pictured right), 18, will become the youngest player ever to grace the European Championship.
  • It is 45 years since the Danes' last victory over the Dutch - a 3-2 European Championship qualifying win in Copenhagen on October 4, 1967.
  • The teams are meeting each other for the 31st time, with Denmark's record reading W8, D10, L12.
  • Morten Olsen's side scored 15 goals in qualifying, the second fewest of all the finalists behind Greece (14) and level with the Czech Republic and France. The Danes did, however, play two games fewer than all those teams.

Players to watch

R. van Persie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Arsenal man is coming off the finest season of his career as his 30 league goals helped him bag England's Footballer of the Year award. Even so, the 28-year-old is under severe pressure to recreate his scintillating club form for the national team and deliver a far better performance than at the 2010 World Cup, where he scored just one goal in seven appearances.

C. Eriksen

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Dubbed as the next Michael Laudrup by Johan Cruyff, the 20-year-old playmaker is one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe following a highly impressive second season with Ajax. As the creative hub around which the Danish attack operates, Eriksen could emerge as one of the breakout stars of the tournament.

Editor's Prediction

Look at it on paper, and in every way the Netherlands should win. The Dutch undoubtedly have the better team, and while their defence looks a little lightweight, it is questionable if Denmark possess the needed firepower to exploit that weakness. Morten Olsen's men should not be written off, but if Van Persie and company are on their game they should win this.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Netherlands NLD
Netherlands Netherlands
Denmark DNK
Denmark Denmark

Top 3 Predictions

Netherlands NLD
2 - 0
Denmark DNK
Netherlands NLD
3 - 1
Denmark DNK
Netherlands NLD
2 - 1
Denmark DNK