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WC Qualification Europe

  • March 22, 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
  • Referee: V. Meshkov
  • • Attendance: 48675

Netherlands-Estonia Preview: Louis van Gaal's men target five for five

Netherlands-Estonia Preview: Louis van Gaal's men target five for five


The hosts have won their previous four qualification games in Group D and will be looking to add three more points to their tally at the Amsterdam ArenA



Janmaat, De Vrij, Martins Indi, Blind
De Guzman, Sneijder, Strootman
Lens, Van Persie, Robben
Jaager, Morozov, Klavan, Teniste
Puri, Vunk, Vassiljev, Kink

Louis van Gaal will be without Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul due to physical problems, while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is being plagued by a knee injury and is unavailable, too.

Roma shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg could return between the sticks again after missing Oranje's previous two games, while Van Gaal is likely to opt for a four-man defence consisting of promising youngsters who ply their trade in the Eredivisie.

Skipper Wesley Sneijder makes his comeback in midfield, with Robin van Persie leading the line in what promises to be a youthful-looking team.

Meanwhile, Estonia boss Tarmo Ruutli will have to make do without the likes of Taavi Rahn and Gert Kams due to injury.

Ruutli plans to field an experienced starting XI in Amsterdam, with talismanic striker Andres Oper expected to start as Estonia's lone front-man, with Joel Lindpere offering support from midfield.

  • Netherlands are one of only two European teams that have yet to lose points in the qualification campaign for the 2014 World Cup, Russia being the other side.

  • Van Persie (pictured, right) needs only two more goals to equal the legendary Johan Cruyff's record of 33 international strikes for Holland.

  • Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena was crowned European champion at Under-17 level less than a year ago, and could now make his debut at senior level.
  • Estonia have locked horns with Holland on two occasions so far, losing both at home and away in the qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup.
  • The guests' all-time leading goalscorer Oper plied his trade in the Eredivisie from 2005 until 2009 at Roda before leaving for Shanghai Shenhua, only to return to Netherlands one year later at ADO Den Haag.
  • Estonia are one of 21 Uefa members who have never featured at a European Championship or a World Cup.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Sep 6, 2013 Estonia 2 - Netherlands 2
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World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Mar 22, 2013 Netherlands 3 - Estonia 0
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
24Sergei PareikoGoalkeeper
5Dmitriy KruglovDefender
2Enar Jaager Defender
-Igor Morozov
9Ragnar KlavanDefender
16Taijo TenisteDefender
14Konstantin VassiljevMidfielder
13Martin VunkMidfielder
7Sander PuriMidfielder
-Andres Oper
-Henrik OjamaaStriker
-Pavel Londak
4Raio PiirojaDefender
2Tihhon SisovDefender
11Ats PurjeMidfielder
-Joel LindpereMidfielder
21Sergei MošnikovMidfielder
17Tarmo KinkStriker
11Jarmo AhjuperaStriker
10Sergey ZenjovStriker
Players to Watch
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 16
Games Goals YC RC
9 11 0 0
The Manchester United star has been struggling a bit at club level in recent weeks, and the match versus Estonia will be the perfect opportunity for Van Persie to find his scoring boots. The prolific forward needs only two more goals for the national time to equal Johan Cruyff's tally, and he could very well achieve that feat on Friday evening.
Andres Oper
Andres Oper
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The veteran striker is Estonia's all-time leading goalscorer with 38 goals, and the Dutch cannot afford to give the former Eredivisie star any space. Oper might no longer be the attacker who impressed in Holland's top tier some five years ago, but he's still his country's main attacking threat.
The 2010 World Cup finalists will be desperate to maintain their perfect record, and there's little doubt that they have the individual quality to see off Estonia. Players such as Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben are still among the best in the world and will prove to be too much for the away side. Expect Oranje to cruise to a comfortable win and make it five wins from five in Group D.
Editor's Prediction

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