This promises to be an exciting and entertaining match…
Sustaining The Momentum
The Netherlands are going great guns in international football at the moment and are carrying on the momentum they built during the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
The Oranje marched on to the final but went down to an extra-time goal from Spain. But since then Bert van Marwijk’s side have done extremely well and are well on their way to the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.
The Oranje are currently in pole position in Group E with 12 points from four games, having scored a whooping 12 goals and conceded two. Striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been the Netherlands’ best player in the qualifying campaign and has scored for fun.
Winning against Turkey at home will be on the Netherlands’ mind but they will also like to continue to thrill the spectators with their romantic football.
Going Back Home
For Turkey coach Guus Hiddink, the match against the Netherlands in Amsterdam will be a home coming. The Duchman was the coach of the Dutch national side between 1994 and 1998 and led them to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup finals.
Hiddink’s Turkish team though, are not doing well in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign as they are third in Group A with just six points from four matches, a further six adrift of leaders Germany and a point behind Austria, who are second.
However, winning against the Dutch at the Amsterdam Arena is not on Hiddink’s mind. He underlines the importance of his players’ performances against one of the most talented national football team and says, "The result is not important. We are especially after our players putting in a strong performance.
"I know the Netherlands are a very good opponent, but I would rather lose a victory over a team that is of quality.”
Striker Robin van Persie, who has struggled with injuries this season, has been included in the squad but he will play only 45 minutes. Royston Drenthe, on loan at Hercules from Real Madrid, too is in the squad after his impressive performances in the Spanish Primera Division this campaign and so is Liverpool’s Ryan Babel, despite his off-coloured form of late.
Australia-born defender Ersan Gulum has been called up by Hiddink and this has been hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons.