Van Persie & Van Bommel already on the plane, Bruma & Emanuelson fighting for a ticket - The 23 players Netherlands may be taking to Euro 2012 breaks down how Euro 2012's leading contenders are likely to pick their squads for Poland and Ukraine. In this feature, we look at Bert van Marwijk's Netherlands

By Stefan Coerts | Dutch Football Editor

Although Euro 2012 is still three months away, and the main focus currently lies on the various domestic and European competitions, the key preparations for Poland-Ukraine are well underway.

Qualified nations only have two or three remaining friendlies before the competition kicks off on June 8 in Warsaw, and each coach will already know the majority of the squad he wishes to take. thus breaks down how Euro 2012's top nations - England, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain - are likely to go about selecting their 23-player rosters.

We move through each positional department - goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and attackers - and divide the candidates into 'Definites', 'Probables' and 'Possibles'. Definites are those who are pillars of the team, indispensable and irreplaceable stars who will only miss out on the finals in the most extraordinary of circumstances such as serious injury. For example, Xavi of Spain or Gianluigi Buffon of Italy. Probables are those who are likely to go, but are not so indispensable that they are immune to being cut. Possibles are all the players who are fighting for the last places in the squad that are yet to be determined. Underneath these listed candidates, we then explain in detail the reason for our choices.

Since November, when we first presented a list of players who could make it to the European Championship, the situation of a number of players has changed. Below is a full rundown of how Netherlands' 23 places could be taken now.

Maarten Stekelenburg
Tim Krul Newcastle United
Michel Vorm Swansea
Piet Velthuizen

Maarten Stekelenburg is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and there's little doubt that the Roma man will be Oranje's No.1 at Euro 2012. The former Ajax star missed a number of games due to a head injury early in the season, but has since fully recovered, and has proven to be an extremely reliable custodian in Serie A.

Whereas a few months ago there were still some question marks over who would be the other two goalkeepers in Oranje's squad, there's little doubt that Swansea's Michel Vorm and Newcastle United man Tim Krul will make the cut as well following their outstanding seasons at club level.

Only in the case of injury could Bert van Marwijk be forced to call up another shot-stopper, and the only reliable option at the moment seems to be Vitesse's Piet Velthuizen. Unlike other alternatives such as Kenneth Vermeer and Jelle ten Rouwelaar, the former Hercules man has been in fine form throughout the 2011-12 campaign, and will still have some hope of making it to Poland-Ukraine.

John Heitinga
Joris Mathijsen
Erik Pieters PSV
Gregory van der Wiel Ajax
Khalid Boulahrouz
Jeffrey Bruma Hamburg
Vurnon Anita  Ajax 
Edson Braafheid  Hoffenheim
Urby Emanuelson AC Milan
Ron Vlaar Feyenoord

Although defence is by no means Holland's strongest area, the four players who have formed Oranje's back line throughout the qualification campaign appear to be certain to make it to Poland-Ukraine. Gregory van der Wiel and Erik Pieters have been plagued by injuries this term, but both full-backs will be back in action well before Euro 2012.

Then there are Khalid Boulahrouz and Jeffrey Bruma, who have featured regularly for Holland since the 2010 World Cup. Both defenders are experiencing decent seasons at club level, and are Van Marwijk's first choice back-ups at right-back and centre-back respectively. Bar any unexpected events in the next three months, the Bundesliga duo will make it to Poland-Ukraine.

This leaves two positions that are still up for grabs - and there are several candidates for the vacant spots. Both Edson Braafheid and Ron Vlaar will be hopeful of boarding the plane next year as substitutes for Pieters and Heitinga. However, the versatile Vurnon Anita is a serious candidate as well, while Urby Emanuelson's good form at AC Milan - albeit in midfield - has put him back in the picture, and he came on as a substitute in the 3-2 win over England at Wembley.

Mark van Bommel
AC Milan
Nigel de Jong Manchester City
Wesley Sneijder Inter
Kevin Strootman PSV
Rafael van der Vaart Tottenham Hotspur
Theo Janssen Ajax
Hedwiges Maduro Valencia
Adam Maher AZ
Stijn Schaars Sporting Lisbon
Georginio Wijnaldum  PSV

Mark van Bommel is not only Oranje's skipper, but he's also indispensable in midfield for the Dutch. The Milan man directs play and wins numerous challenges to keep the team balanced, and he will definitely make the final squad. Although the holding midfielder had a poor spell before the winter break, he has returned to his usual best in the second half of the season and dominated the centre of the park in the friendly win over England.

Furthermore, Nigel de Jong might be suffering a difficult season at club level, but he's proved his worth in the past and would be wise not to book a holiday during Euro 2012. PSV's Kevin Strootman is also likely to travel to Ukraine-Poland following his impressive rise to prominence in 2011-12.

A little higher up the pitch, attacking midfielder Wesley Sneijder is considered to be one of the best players in the world in his position, and the Inter star is a certainty in Van Marwijk's squad despite his relatively disappointing season at club level. Another who is all but assured a ticket is Rafael van der Vaart. The Spurs man is not always guaranteed a starting berth, but is Holland's vice-skipper as well as their most experienced player.

There are a number of candidates for the remaining midfield slot. The versatile Georginio Wijnaldum appears to be sitting in pole position at the moment, but players such as Theo Janssen, Stijn Schaars and Hedwiges Maduro are all in the running, too. Additionally, AZ youngster Adam Maher will be dreaming of making it to Euro 2012 following his inclusion in the provisional Holland squad for last night's friendly versus England.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Robin van Persie Arsenal
Arjen Robben
Bayern Munich
Ibrahim Afellay
Dirk Kuyt Liverpool
Ryan Babel
Derk Boerrigter
Eljero Elia Juventus
Ola John Twente
Luuk de Jong Twente
Jeremain Lens PSV
Luciano Narsingh Heerenveen

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has developed into Oranje's undisputed No.9 since the 2010 World Cup final and is all but secured of his spot in Oranje's 23-man squad. The striker is on his way to becoming Holland's all-time top goalscorer and is one of the most prolific hitmen in Europe. He scored again against England, and now has 31 goals in 49 appearances for his country.

Another attacker who is a definite for the summer extravaganza is Robin van Persie. The former Feyenoord star has been in superb form for Arsenal and leads the scoring charts in the Premier League. He can play both on the right wing and as a centre forward, and will be one of the first players on Van Marwijk's list.

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is going through a difficult period at club level, but the former Groningen man is one of the world's most dangerous wingers, and even if he were 10 per cent fit would still make the squad. His importance was demonstrated at Wembley with a match-winning double, including a brilliant injury time winner.

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has never really had to worry about his Oranje spot in the past few years, but his relatively poor form at club level means that he is no longer an undisputed starter for Oranje. Nevertheless, the former Feyenoord favourite is still very likely to make the cut. Another player who is not entirely certain of a slot is Barcelona attacker Ibrahim Afellay.
The versatile winger sustained a serious knee injury some five months ago, and has since been working on his recovery process. He recently returned to the training pitch, though, and should be match fit in time for Euro 2012 - Van Marwijk has made it clear that the ex-PSV man will make the roster if fit enough.

That effectively leaves only one position free up-front, and Van Marwijk has plenty of choices. Eljero Elia was a regular until he became an outcast at Juventus after joining last summer, while Luuk de Jong and Jeremain Lens have also been called up several times this season. Additionally, Ryan Babel and Derk Boerrigter will be looking to impress Van Marwijk in the remainder of the season in order to catch the plane. Promising youngsters Ola John and Luciano Narsingh, who both received their first call-ups for the England game, are outsiders to make it to Poland-Ukraine.

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The midfielder will not regret his decision to stay put as head coach Gertjan Verbeek gave him the chance to prove his worth in the Europa League match versus BATE Borisov in December 2010 and Maher rewarded the AZ boss for the faith shown in him by scoring on his debut.